OPENING REMARKS BY THE H.E. MR. MIYEGOMBO ENKHBOLD, CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE GREAT HURAL (PARLIAMENT) OF MONGOLIA, AT THE DELIBERATIVE MEETING OF THE DELIBERATIVE POLLING ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me, on behalf of the State Great Hural and myself, to extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you here. I also would like to offer congratulations to you for participating in this respected event of the First Nation-Wide deliberative polling on Constitutional Amendment and wish the success.
In 1992, Mongolia, strengthening the independency and sovereignty of the country, cherishing the human rights, freedom, justice, aspiring towards the supreme objective of developing humane, civil and democratic society, adopted and proclaimed its Constitution.
Twenty-six years ago, this new constitution was discussed in public for three months, and 900,000 out of 1.2 mln. voters were directly participating, and more than 200,000 suggestions were received, of which 44.3 percent has been reflected in the draft.
The draft was debated by the State Baga Hural four times and by the People’s Great Hural, the first multiparty institution with a representation of each administrative and territorial units of that time, for 76 days.
Consequently, the constitution of Mongolia could become a joint creation and a supreme guarantee of the consensus and understanding of all Mongolians. Thus, I have emphasized in my remarks at the opening of the spring session that the amendment to the constitution is not a matter of just one parliament or some initiators, but, in case of its inevitability, it is an important issue to handle according to our proverb “measure seven times and cut once”.
As before, the constitution must be amended on the bases of the opinions and desires of all people, through ensuring the participation of makers of the constitution as well as political and non-political institutions, adhering to the principles of transparency and deliberative democracy.
Today the members of the State Baga Hural and People’s Great Hural participated in developing and adopting process of the Constitution, each of the state officials, politicians, representatives of the government and non-government organization, citizens randomly selected have gathered here in this hall.
Since 2000, there were 8 bills on amendment to the Constitution submitted by the members of the State Great Hural, and several studies and recommendations have been developed on the necessity to amend the Constitution from the working groups formed by parliament and academic conferences.
Moreover, ordinary citizens, scholars and researchers, the most respected and recognized state and social activists started to voice their opinions and hold discussionson amending some parts of the Constitution.
Lately, the majority of the citizens involved in the survey conducted by working groups established within the government and Mongolian People’s party caucus, consider the amendment necessary.
For example, 96.7 percent of the respondents consider that the checks and balances between the legislative, executive and judicial powers are insufficient, 73.1 percent say that the structure and organization of the State Great Hural are inappropriate for the present situation, 51.5 percent think that the allowing the concurrent holding of the office of the Cabinet Member by the Member of the State Great Hural is wrong.
Moreover, 57.3 percent consider the formation of the Government by the Prime minister correct, 79.3 percent think that it’s necessary to change, to some degree, the system of administrative and territorial organization. These all reveal that there is a need to consult public on whether to amend the Constitution or not, and make an appropriate decision.
You all have gathered here on the base of these needs.
Mongolian parliament adopted the law on the deliberative polling during the autumn session of 2016.
Section 5.3.3 of Article 5 of the Law on the Constitutional Amendment Procedure states that, in case of making amendments to some articles of the Constitutions, it is necessary to organize deliberative polling, and Session 5.3.4 of Article 5 outlines that, in case the result of the survey supports making the amendments, State Great Hural must discuss and, if necessary, establish a working group to develop the bill on amendment.
According to this law, the State Great Hural adopted the resolution on conducting the first deliberative polling on amendment to the Constitution, and thus, the historical event to organize this nation-wide polling is occurring.
In the first step of the deliberative polling, 1570 citizens from around the country were polled, but you as a participant in the second step would be polled after receiving balanced briefing materials and being engaged in discussions for two full days.
While making a decision, the State Great Hural will take into consideration your suggestions or responses delivered.
I am fully confident that you would understand the value of this historical event and be extremely responsible.
It is a privilege and great occasion for you to have a special right to make historical decision as a participant randomly selected from the list of the all adult citizen of Mongolia and representing all classes of the society, profession, interest groups, age and sex.
I would like to congratulate you again and wish the success to the work of this deliberative polling.
May the wisdom and insight dwell