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Monday, January 3, 2005

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Draft legislation of tax on Chinggis’s name

A draft law on using the name and portrait of Chinggis Khaan is currently being discussed by the parliament. The draft was submitted to parliament by President N.Bagabandi.

The president's legal advisor, G.Bayasgalan, said that according to records held by the Intellectual Property Office, 20 products and 14 people have been given permission to use the name or portrait of Chinggis Khaan. 48 organizations and entrepreneurs, that are also using the name Chinggis, are registered in the National General Taxation Office. Bayasgalan said that this shows that since 1990 the name and portrait of Chinggis have been used in business widely. However, he argued that for some products and entrepreneurs it is doubtful whether it is really necessary for them to use Chinggis' name. He said it therefore needs regulation by law in order to protect the name of the person who is Mongolia's national icon, he said.

Bayasgalan explained that the draft states that the name of Chinggis Khaan would be declared as the property of the state and so a payment would be rendered for using state property. The draft indicates that if the name is used as the name of an organization, it will be taxed at 0.2 percent of its income and if the name is used as the name of products, the organization will be taxed at 0.4 percent of the income from that product. Proceeds will go to the state budget.

Some MPs have pointed out that there is no portrait of Chinggis Khaan that is officially confirmed as being his real appearance. Bayasgalan said that scientists should establish one fixed version.

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MDC coalition broken up, claim Mongolian Democratic New Socialist Party

Last week’s internal dispute within the Democratic Party is not just affecting the Party, it is now threatening the stability of the grand coalition government.

On December 29, MP B.Erdenebat handed to parliament speaker N.Enkhbayar a decision of the administrative meeting of the MDC to dismantle the MDC, dated December 26. A clandestine meeting of the Motherland Democratic Coalition (MDC) was held in the building of the State Academic Theater of Drama on December 26, where a decision was made to disband the MDC. MP B.Erdenebat, chairman of the Mongolian Democratic New Socialist Party (MDNSP), N.Chuluunbaatar, Secretary General of MDNSP, MP M.Enkhsaikhan, who was ousted last week as chairman of Democratic Party (DP), MP L.Gundalai, ousted as deputy chairman of the DP and M.Tungalag, ousted as Secretary General of the DP, signed the decision.

It was the fourth meeting of the administration of the MDC and according to MDC rules a total of 400 people should attend such a meeting, 200 of whom must be from the National Consultative Committee (NCC) of the DP and 200 from the Core Meeting of the MDNSP. However, only 225 people attended the meeting, just 20 of who were from the DP and the remainder from the MDNSP.

Resentment over DP changes
MP M.Enkhsaikhan stated that he tried to prevent the disbanding of the coalition, but a majority had made the decision. He also commented that when he had been working in Turkey activities carried out outside of the rules were organized and the administration of the DP was removed illegally. He was talking about the meetings organized last week by the DP’s NCC, which removed him, Gundalai and Tungalag from office and replaced them with R.Gonchigdorj, D.Monkhtuya and Sh.Tuvdendorj and said that he suspects the MPRP might also be involved in these illegal activities. He explained that the MDC group in the parliament had been planning to discuss the issues of millions of dollars that ‘disappeared’ during the process of nullifying the large debt owed to Russia; and the issue of money that was spent from the government reserve fund. He went on to say that last week’s actions could have been intentional political moves. One journalist asked him about whether he thinks the government will be removed as the consequence of dispersing of the MDC. He replied that the current government has become one that implements just the policies of the MPRP, not the coalition’s, so the MPRP would be the one to decide whether the government would be removed or not. He commented that socialists are democrats until time when they come into power.

Resistance
Some leaders of the Democratic Party, the majority component of the MDC, however claimed that the coalition has not been disbanded. MP R.Gonchigdorj, new chairman of the DP since the upheaval last week, said his view of the MDC meeting this week is that it was not a meeting of the administration of the MDC and it was just for the Core Meeting of the MDNSP. This is because the administration of MDC had not received an announcement that the meeting would be held, he said. He noted that a few members of the DP, including Enkhsaikhan, Gundalai and Tungalag had been involved in the meeting but stated that the coalition is a joint organization. He said that although one component has left the coalition (the Social Democratic Party (SDP), that left the MDC last week), it does not mean the coalition has disbanded completely, as the two other parts still remain.

News of the MDC’s undercover meeting met a mixed reception from other sides. MP S.Oyun, Head of the Civil Will Republican Party, one of the remaining components of the MDC, said she had only heard the about the decision of the MDC meeting from the press and had not been told about it prior to the event. She expressed her regret for the MDNSP’s decision and said that her Party just wants the parliament and government to work under stable conditions. She also said that it would not have been possible for the Parties of the MDC to join under the coalition just for the sake of power, and said "we should do our work now and implement our promises." She added that politicians are blocking the people’s wish to move forward.

Looking ahead
MP B.Erdenebat, head of the MDNSP, said that dismantling the coalition meant an end to the conspiracy between a few people that had been continuing under the name of negotiation. He noted that that dispute within the DP had now reached the stage of the coalition being disbanded, after last weeks events when the SDP separated from the DP and the power of the DP chairman was taken illegally. However, he went onto say that as an independent party, the MDNSP should continue its activities. "It is impossible to wait on misunderstandings in the DP." Erdenebat also said that the MDNSP had been released from the conspiracy and pressure called negotiations and now not just his Party, but also other Parties in the parliament have the opportunity to voice their opinions because they are free from the constraints of the coalition. He claimed that personal ambition is more important for the members of the DP than the Party’s interest and even the nation’s interest.
Some voices in the media have commented that if the coalition were to collapse, the MPRP would become the majority in the parliament. Although MP D.Idevkhten stated that there is no legal basis for removing the government because of the disbanding of the MDC, and he predicted that the MPRP will strive to keep the current government, Onoodor newspaper argued that the coalition collapse would benefit the MPRP.