Aubrey Menarndt

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The Mongolian parliament’s fall legislative agenda includes debate of a proposed draft law on nonprofit legal entities. The draft law shares provisions used in recent laws to restrict civil society in Russia, Poland and Hungary.

The proposed legislation calls for the creation of the Civil Society Development Council, an institution that will have vast power over nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Mongolia, including foreign-funded institutions, and require NGOs to submit annual reports detailing all of their financial contributions and activities for approval. Exactly how the council will use this information to determine the legitimacy of NGO activities remains unclear. This uncertainty could potentially leave Mongolia’s civil society open to arbitrary and restrictive provisions.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last week, the Mongolian parliament stunned pro-democracy advocates when it voted to remove the safeguards protecting the independence of its courts and its anti-corruption agency. In doing so, the parliament helped further President Khaltmaa Battulga’s ongoing attempt to consolidate power. The action follows months of scandal and protests, which facilitated the support Battulga needed for this week’s vote.

Many observers have considered Mongolia an unlikely “oasis of democracy” since it left the Soviet Union’s orbit in 1990. Now it’s the latest nascent democracy to begin sliding toward authoritarian rule. Before last week, Mongolian laws insulated judges from political pressure. Parliament appointed the head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), and the president appointed the prosecutor general.…  Seguir leyendo »