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Mongolia: Agenda for Autumn 2015 Session of Parliament

(Nov. 7, 2015) On September 20, 2015, the Chairman of the Great State Hural (Parliament), Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, gave a presentation on Mongolia’s economy to the American Chamber of Commerce in UlaanbaatarUlanbatar. Part of his remarks covered the fall agenda for the Great State Hural. Aside from what he termed “the usual suspects” – the 2016 State Budget Law, budget legislation on the Human Development Fund and the Social Insurance Fund, and a resolution on monetary policy guidelines – the Chairman mentioned a number of other draft laws. (Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, Agenda for 2015 Autumn Session of the Parliament of Mongolia, The Great State Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia website (Oct. 1, 2015),.)

Two proposals that are being hotly debated are a draft constitutional amendment law and a draft election law. Enkhbold pointed out that Mongolia’s Constitution has not been amended in 23 years. In January 2015, he had appointed a panel of MPs to draft the amendment law. (Id.) Under the country’s Constitution, an amendment of its provisions must be adopted by at least three-fourths of the votes of all the MPs. (Constitution of Mongolia (Jan. 13, 1992), art. 69(1), International Labor Organization website.)

The proposed changes to the Election Law include establishing a single voting day for both state and local elections, with the exception of the presidential election; creating, for the selection of 28 of the 76 legislative seats, five greater election districts spanning several provinces, for which district party lists rather than nationwide party lists would be used; making election to office less dependent on campaign funds (especially candidate funding by commodity management companies); and reducing the length of election campaigns. (Enkhbold, supra.)

The Chairman also mentioned a number of items of legislation related to reform of law enforcement organizations. They include proposed reforms that would affect the police, the Criminal Code, the Small (Petty) Crime Code, the Prosecutor’s Office, and implementation of court decisions. Enkhbold noted that the reforms are necessary to eliminate ambiguity and inconsistency in the application of Mongolia’s civil and criminal codes; in particular, the government needed to ensure that the tax authority and law enforcement organizations “do not have different interpretations of the tax law.” (Id.)

In connection with foreign direct investment in the mining industry, an agreement on foreign investment in the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine has been submitted to the Great State Hural for revision. Earlier in the year, the country’s Minerals Law was amended to provide that the state share in mineral deposits of strategic importance can be replaced by a royalty payment and that license holders receiving the state share must pay the royalty based on a percentage (with a ceiling of 5%) approved by the government. (Id.; The Amendments of 2013, 2014 and 2015 to the Law of Mongolia on Minerals (2006), Ashid Advocates LLP website (last visited Oct. 30, 2015); Anthony Woolley & Bolormaa Gulguu, Legislative Update: Last Day of the Mongolian Parliament’s Autumn Session, LEXOLOGY (Mar. 23, 2015); The Minerals Law of Mongolia (Amended Law) (Oct. 30, 2006) (official translation of 2006 Law).)

Some of the other items on the parliamentary agenda are legislation on the decision procedures of the Constitutional Court, government organization, public service, organic food, domestic violence, and labor relations. (Enkhbold, supra.)