Referendum on constitutional amendments to be held on October 30 and 31
The question of a constitutional amendment referendum was greenlit by Parliament with 55 out of 58 lawmakers in attendance approving it on September 7.
On Monday, the Standing Committee on State Structure discussed the associated parliamentary decree, and set the date for a constitutional referendum for October 30 and 31, 2019. During the meeting, the head of the standing committee S.Byambatsogt presented to its members that the standing committee must now define the reason for Parliament’s approval of a referendum in writing, start and end dates, and regulations for its organization.
Parliament members L.Oyun-Erdene, D.Togtokhsuren, N.Enkhbold, G.Zandanshatar, O.Sodbileg, N.Tserenbat and J.Munkhbat asked and cleared a number of questions regarding the previously discussed referendum, including the debate of the referendum date of October 23 and its budget, list of voters and preparation work. They also discussed how the standing committee should present the amendments to the public at large.
On budgetary concerns, Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat L.OyunErdene warned that currently the budget for the referendum is set to be issued from the government reserve funds, but the reserve funds are not enough for organizing the referendum. Moreover, he elaborated that unplanned expenses, or ones that were not included in the annual government budget, does not include a referendum-type expense and only emergency costs such as a natural disaster.
“Therefore, the decree should be amended as necessary. In Article 8.1 of Law on Referendums, its costs should be covered by the national budget. Parliament has the power to amend the national budget as they see fit, but there might be concerns over increasing the national budget due to the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, but as these costs are associated with constitutional matters, I think they will likely come to an agreement,” L.Oyun-Erdene said.
He also noted the possibility of unplanned expenses, such as additional printing of the amendment drafts to the masses, and various other incalculable implementation costs.
Head of the General Election Committee Ch.Sodnomtseren elaborated on the current date of the referendum and organizational approaches.
He commented, “Once the decision to hold a referendum is made, Parliament will set a date for it within 21-45 days after this decision,” meaning October 23 is the date for the referendum. The General Election Committee is responsible for preparing for a referendum within 30 days of Parliament’s decision to hold a referendum.
...Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat L.Oyun Erdene warned that currently the budget for the referendum is set to be issued from the government reserve funds, but the reserve funds are not enough for organizing the referendum...