Monday, August 4, 2008

The leader of the "Citizens for Justice" (Honest Citizens' movement, literally translated) movement Mr G.Arslan, who along with members was holding his silent and peaceful demonstration at the Sukhbaatar Square, has been subpoenaed by the Sukhbaatar district court. Rumours abound that he may be arrested and charged with public disruption of peace. The movement's request to hold a peaceful demonstration at Sukhbaatar Square was denied by the district administration amidst fears of another "stone revolution".

The battle for the new Parliament continues, as the DP and GEC chairman B.Battulga now engage in verbal warfare. The DP demand the resignation of B.Battulga, head of the GEC, for his part in the election confusion and for failing to ensure a fair and organized election. Meanwhile, the 3 local election committees have yet to deliver the final results for the disputed constituencies. B.Battulga retorts that neither the DP nor the MPRP have the right to pressure the GEC into changing the election results. The DP claim the election results presented to the President on 10 and 14 of July (different results each time) were in breach of the Election Law. Exactly what law they refer to, I tried to find out. Unfortunately, the GEC's website displays only a large "under maintenance" notice. So much for e-government.

This week, various foreign dignitaries are visiting Mongolia taking advantage of the summer season ahead of our unvisitable winter, including the president of Croatia Stjepan Mesic and a Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. The Emir had reportedly lent the Government USD 12 million (!!) for the construction of a new Parliament House, but little progress has been made from the Mongolian side. Their reason: There isn't enough space in Ulaanbaatar to build a new Parliament House. To a foreigner, it may sound like a ridiculous reason, considering Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with plenty of undeveloped land. My guess is the Parliamentarians want their office to be in central UB, where there really is no space for a new Parliament house.

Anyhoo, my main question is why? Why do we need to borrow money to build a Parliament house when the current Parliament house is just fine for their weekly "debates", which aren't even taking place nowadays due to the stalemate? How about USD 12 million on homeless shelters and housing projects? Some kinda road maintenance before they disappear for good leaving us to test our athleticism dodging SUV's thundering down pedestrian walkways? Maybe my asking these questions proves that I have little understanding of the intricacies of politics and priorities they demand. I shiver at the thought of another Parliament building with a gigantic Chinggis statue in front. Speaking of Chinggis, here's a daily randomness on Chinggis Khan: Korea's leading fund manager adopts the Tao of Chinggis Khan in his expansion / growth model.