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Coal is public issue, will be resolved more timely: Mongolian premier

Coal is public issue, will be resolved more timely: Mongolian premier
Mongolians in capital Ulaanbaatar took to streets in past 2 days, demanding decisive government action over reports of stolen coal

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – The reports about stolen coal in Mongolia are a public issue and it will be resolved in “a more timely manner,” the nation’s prime minister has said in the wake of large-scale demonstration in the capital Ulaanbaatar over the past two days.

"I supported the young people who expressed their opinions. This is a public issue, so it will be resolved in a more timely manner. The government is making contacts with the Chinese side. The issue is much bigger than the Oyu Tolgoi, Erdenet Industry, and the Development Bank,” Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene said late on Monday, according to state news agency Montsame.

About the demonstrations on Dec. 4-5, the premier said law enforcement agencies are running a large-scale inspection to resolve the issue.

“At the same time, looking at yesterday's demonstration, people involved in the coal issue tried to politicize the rally and divert it. Therefore, people should be on the alert in this regard,” Oyun-Erdene further said.

Political parties, he said, have raised the issue of the need to change the country’s political system.

“The competence of our country's parliament has decreased. Instead, influencers with large followings are leading citizens.

“But the parliament is a small people. Within this understanding, citizens should see those parliamentarians as my representatives. Parliament should be recognized by the people, protect the rights of the people, and represent the differences between the urban and the rural areas. But today, there is a big difference between the parliament and ordinary citizens,” he asserted.

Oyun-Erdene said Mongolia's National Security Council met to discuss the protests, but the government’s resignation and the parliament’s dissolution were not discussed.

“However, the president said that he was ready to support systemic reforms if they were supported by the public," the prime minister added.

He also reiterated that the parliament “should be the representative of the Mongolian people, the government should be stable, and the members of the parliament should fulfill their representative duties."

Earlier, the Mongolian parliament said the demonstrations were under control, while Parliament Speaker Gombojav Zandanshatar issued an order to hold public hearings on the coal issue.

“By including the representatives of every province where mining takes place, and by fighting against coal theft with public participation, many problems that take place behind the scenes in the pockets will be revealed," Zandanshatar said.

Separately, Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve, secretary general of the People's Party, and Khurelbaatar Chimed, economy and development minister, held a news conference on the matter.

“A certain number of people are being investigated based on the government's complaint. In particular, about 15 officials are being investigated … in the case of coal in Erdenes-Tavantolgoi JSC,” Dashzegve said.

Meanwhile, Khurelbaatar said the coal case was discussed three times at the governmental level and a “special regime” was imposed on Erdenes-Tavantolgoi JSC, a state-owned mining companies in Mongolia.

source: News Feed
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