Thursday, July 9, 2009

Learning Mongolian Parliamentary Procedure

The news portal site has illuminated what occurred in parliament today...somewhat. It is clear I need to learn a lot more about Mongolian parliamentary procedure, but, from what I understand of the explanation in this post, after much debate parliament voted to support the recommendations of the Economic Standing Committee with 39 of 59 members present voting for the resolution.

This is where it gets a bit fuzzy. Apparently the resolution based on the Economic Standing Committee's recommendations will be punted back to the party groups and standing committees for further debate and comment, and then it will be passed on to the full parliament again for formal debate. So, from what I gather, today's vote was on whether to consider debating the specifics of the agreement in the full parliament, presumably with an eye towards a formal vote on ratifying the agreement. In other words, today was a debate and vote on whether to debate and vote. Make sense? If this is a correct interpretation, then I would say Mongolia's democracy is thriving. It feels like I am in Washington. At any rate, today's vote means the agreement has moved to the next important stage of the process of being ratified...whatever that is.

An additional question the vote brings up for me is where were the other 17 members of parliament were during today's proceedings? Seems to me a bad day to miss a vote. Clearly there is still much I need to learn about how parliament works, and, based on the comments posted by readers below a lot of the articles online, I am not alone.

(Revision: Two members were not present because their seats are open. President Elbegdorj's former seat and one seat from MAXH according the Mongolian Parliament website at So, where were the other 15 members?)

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