G.Chuluunbaatar: The talk of creating and approving a “new” Constitution by way of the Deliberative Polling is false

There has been suspicion amongst the public that a new Constitution is going to be approved through the "Deliberate and Resolve" Deliberative Polling. Academician G.Chuluunbaatar, Chair of the Deliberative Council that will manage and organize the Polling, made clarifications on this matter.

- Certain politicians have revealed to the public that they had drafted a "new" Constitution. There is confusion amongst the public that the Deliberative Polling is being conducted to approve this Draft of the Constitution. What is your position on this matter?

We must remember the Resolution No.80 of the State Great Hural on “The Arrangement of Deliberative Polling” was ratified on December 22, 2022. According to the Resolution, the purpose of the Polling is to determine social and economic issues with the help of the public, to put them into order according to priority, to deliberate its solutions and answers with the citizens, and then ensure social consensus. The Resolution defined the scope of the work to be undertaken by the Deliberative Council.

It does not contain any word or mention any meaning about making amendments to the Constitution or about creating a new Consitution. So, I would like to point out that the talk of creating and approving a “new” Constitution by way of the Deliberative Polling is false.

- The Deliberative Council developed the polling questions. Amongst the questions, it was said that there weren’t any questions in relation to making amendments to the Constitution, however there have been people posting pictures and explanations on social networks saying that there indeed are.

The Deliberative Council organized a press conference on January 25, 2022, a day before Stage 1 of the Deliberative Polling began.  During the press conference, when journalists asked what kind of constitutional issues were being raised, we answered that there is no context or innuendo about adopting a new Consitution. However, we received only 1 question pertaining to whether there was a need to revise the current Constitution.  Adopting a new Constitution or making a revision to the Constitution are two very different concepts.

- On what grounds was the question related to the revision of the Constitution included?

In accordance with the aforementioned Resolution No.80 of the State Great Hural, the Standing Committee on State Structure and the Secretariat of the State Great Hural, within the framework of the work related to organizing the Deliberative Polling, organized a scientific conference under the theme of "Social, Political and Economic Challenges: Solutions", and a conference on "Political, Economic and Legal Solutions – Social Consensus".

In developing the survey questions, the Deliberative Council carefully considered the suggestions and formulations put forward by those who participated in both events. Three versions of issues related to the Constitution were raised in the suggestions and proposals made by the academicians and citizens who participated in these meetings and conferences, as well as in the Prime Minister's and related speeches.

The first is the option of implementing the amendments introduced in 2019 without changing the current Constitution. The issue of promptly approving and adopting the main laws (Draft Laws on Political Parties; Elections; Wealth Funds) in line with the Constitutional Amendments of 2019 was raised.

Within the framework of implementing the Constitutional Amendments, out of the forty-something laws that need to be newly approved or revised, currently 10 laws have yet to be approved. A scenario was discussed that after these are approved, the Constitution can be left untouched.

The second option is to make a certain number of amendments to the Constitution. Within this framework, issues such as increasing parliament’s capability to represent its citizens and voters, reforming and improving the electoral system, etc., were discussed.

A third option, which is currently being discussed, involves proposals for a new constitution to address the issue of creating a bicameral parliamentary system. 

The Deliberative Council discussed all three versions individually and from many angles, put forward specific formulas and voted, and resolved the issue with the majority vote. Regarding the third version, after discussing several formulas, the formula with the content of developing and discussing the revision of the Constitution was supported and put into question. But let me officially say that this has nothing to do with the draft Constitution that is currently being distributed and discussed. 

On this note, a version of the adoption of a new Constitution was put forward, but during the discussion, it was rejected without getting the support of the majority of the members of the Consultative Council. In other words, the questions of the Deliberative Polling did not include the words "new Constitution" and "new Constitution approval".


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