Friday, August 27, 2010

Black Financing of Political Parties


Aug 27,2010

In democratic countries, the information about the origin and collection of capital funds of political parties are always open and transparent. The mirrow to show by which means and for whose interests these institutions that take total control and power over the state responsible for the destiny and security of its people, serve, is the financing of political parties and the source.

In principal, financing of political parties must only come from their membership fees and donations from their members and supporters. In some countries, governments grant some funding to political parties based on the principle of equality among political parties, provided that the political parties meet certain official requirements and conditions. Names of all organizations and individual who make donations above the approved amount should be announced publicly too and electors have the right to be aware of origin of such donations and of if it is taxed properly.

Because political parties in countries with successful democracy indicators, particularly ruling parties publicly announce their financial statements every year, the citizens do trust political parties as institution. They also legalized maximum amount of donation from a single individual, which is one of many requirements to prevent a political party from turning into an instrument to exercise the interest of only few people with big money and wealth. If all these requirements fail, few people would misappropriate the peoples’ money and get richer and richer while ordinary people pay for all luxurious expenses of these few people by working hard and paying taxes, finally leading to the birth of a “Bonded Democratic State”.

Then, what we do, ordinary citizens of Mongolia know about how much money do the two ruling parties, namely Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Party, have and what is the source of their financing? We do know nothing. Even their ordinary members have no idea about that, not talking even about ordinary citizens.

The reason is none of the two parties have integrated information about their financing and statements on their incomes and expenditures. Leaders of these two parties never register individuals’ donations and payment for electoral candidacy into integrated accountant of their parties and they make payments orally or in cash. They only promise to appoint their donators to a certain posts, if they win elections. No one has calculated real expenditures the political parties spend for election campaigns. After elections, there is an always new post in newly-formed government, in particular new cabinet creates posts of deputy ministers and deputy chairpersons when there is a post of state secretary.

Under-construction buildings of the two ruling parties are brightest example of the fact that the two parties have been getting richer and richer than their country and people. MPRP got MNT11 billion from the state as compensation for its old burnt building and is building a 10-storey big house. Originally, damages of any burnt property or building must be paid from insurance. All properties in a country with proper governance should be insured. But if it is burnt by someone, competent bodies should find guilty one to compensate the damage, after which the insurer gets payment. How it came that the

MPRP stole from tax money we, the people, paid, when why and who burnt the MPRP’s white building. Probably we have to expect such a fraud from this state that says no word about the guilty ones who shot five Youngman to death.

The Democratic Party is also building own house three times higher than the MPRP building. At least the Democratic Party should be like a democratic party. Don’t you see that your people do not need your golden palaces but need new hospitals, new schools and new kindergartens? The people would surround you if you build a new school for their children. Your expensive vehicles and luxurious consumption looks like “a feat during the plague” inside the poorest life of your people.

My dear ruling parties!

There is an emerging necessity for us, the citizens, to know where all these huge money of your two parties are coming from. If you make all these information open and clear, we decide that you have an especial reason to hide it from the citizens.

We are also suspicious that you two might be financed from foreign sources. Special report released by members of parliament that you formed says that there is no complete report of “big debt” that we received since 2000 and that is about to exceed our GDP and that it is not clear now who took some loans and who will pay off. It is already the time to release financial statements of projects that are implemented on big loans through suspicious tender bids and which results and achievements are still uncertain.

Newspapers and media everyday informs about how your appointed MPs swindle through their “slaves” the resources under the above Mongolian land by lying that various licenses are issued or transferred or sold.

Please take into your attention that Russians themselves talk about fact that early last century in order to diminish future strength and influence of rapidly-developing Russia, the Germans financed some Russians led by Ulyanov (Lenin) who were on refugee abroad helping them to found political party, which led to civil war and coup d’etat.

Mongolians would not vote in next elections for the political party that have not publicized its financial statement about how the party is financed and what the party’s money is spent for /at least since the last elections/. We call for publicize your financial statements to compete in next elections. Originally, there is a law stating that.

Translated by P.Shinee

Friday, August 20, 2010

Democrary and Dictatorship

"UB Post"
August 20,2010

Prisoners of Granit village jail, near Kazakhstan capital city Astana went on mutiny last week. Prisoners demanded to improve prison condition, stop beating and torture them, and to let them meet the representative of human rights international organization and some of them have injured themselves. Three day mutiny has been suppressed by 300 soldiers of special force and 2 prisoners were dead and over 80 injured, according to BBC news.

1200 prisoners were kept in a jail with capacity of 800 prisoners and they have to sleep in turn in bed, according to the news. According to Manfred Novak, officer of UN special agency against interrogation under torture, there are 65 thousand prisoners in Kazakhstan, which is three times higher than in European average and much higher than in the former SU states.

Situation outside the prison is completely different. Kazakhstan’s indicator for economic growth and living standard of the population is clearly higher compared to other post-Soviet republics. There are many countries, which have high indicator for both the number of prisoners and economic growth. Major source of economic development of these countries is usually natural wealth.

Political power and natural wealth is concentrated in the hand of a single person and his family and accordingly individual rights and freedom is restricted. Chile of A. Pinochet time, Persian Gulf countries, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan are among those countries. On the other hand, there are countries where state power is concentrated in a single person, yet no positive results in economy and continued fights among the population on the ground of territory and religion and becoming target of civil war, which are handled only through consistent military regime.

To name just some of them: Kirgizstan, Zimbabwe, Sudan and etc. According to the latest edition of “Foreign Policy”, in general there are 40 dictators globally and of which 23 are keeping almost two billion people under their iron hand.

But, there are also numbers of countries, like Mongolia where the natural wealth is not in the hands of a single person and the population has experienced the advantage of democracy in their lives yet every one could not be the beneficiary of the economic growth, and could not invest substantially in infrastructure, yet the state and government leaders profiting through conspiracy under the name of infrastructure investment. As for our country, in the capital city, where more than a half of the entire population resides, the authority is making profit from almost all land and community purpose assets.

Mayor of the city is appointed by political party and therefore no system of reporting to the residents. Main “responsibility” of them for many years has been speculating in selling land of UB city parks, and coastal areas of only river through issuing permissions for construction. Permissions for construction of houses were issued to the accomplices of the city authority in almost all valleys of the so called protected area by getting bribery. Houses have been built and people moved in, yet these people cannot get certificate of their property and creating thousands of illegal occupants.

Now they have to accept that they were lying about the protected area and what is left for them to do is to annul the law. This is just one example of how those who comes to power by turn is making our democracy valueless and turning Mongolian laws into nothing.

Democracy should not be blamed for the concentration of state power and management of natural wealth in the hands of few groups and their sponsoring companies. Institutions, so called political parties have to be blamed for that. The reason is that in a democratic country, only election winning political party takes the political power.

But the political parties instead of taking measures against their swindler members have turned their parties as nest of conspiracy and means of getting rich and further harming the society seriously. Gist of everything is that political parties cannot lead the country and ensuring economic growth, like those countries of a single dictator.

People of Mongolia are agitated because we are losing too much time waiting any outcome from election to next election and when election comes then the political parties buy the votes of their poor citizens by money and empty promises and the worsening of people’s lives by every passing day and people have now no confidence in their future.

Therefore, there is a ongoing talks among the people who are in the depths of despair that instead of too many dictators” it might be better to have just one dictator, which might be cheaper. Development of political parties, actually could be only answer against the establishment of one man dictatorship.

There is an urgent historical need for Mongolia to guarantee its democratic accomplishments by economic development.

We want to live in democratic and developed country. This could be achieved only by ourselves and we wish if the political parties could not help then please do not make matters worse.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nur zhol

UB Post

August 13, 2010

New capital of Kazakhstan is Astana. Center point of the city is golden egg in its nest, located at the top of 97-meter high tree, symbol of unity and happiness of the young nation. There are flower-beds crossing the park, surrounding the base of giant “beiterek” tree. There is an avenue, from west to east bound, dividing the future super power capital, in two sides of golden egg giant tree.

At the east point of this axis, there is Presidential palace with a blue dome on top, which could clearly be seen from “Khan Shatyr (Palace of Khan)” through the Large arch, which penetrates the building of “Kazmunaigas”, the richest state owned oil company. It is like in Paris, The Triumph Arch links historical Champs Elysées with XXI century town. Part of the avenue is dedicated to only to pedestrians to walk and stroll along the street of flower-beds and fountain as well as shopping centers. In the evenings, fountains blow changing color curtains under the melody of classic music. Name of this street is Nur zhol or Nur path.

Nursultan Nazarbaev’s path was not always filled with successes and accomplishments decorated with such beautiful flowers, there were ups and downs. His true contribution to development of this country will be judged by the history many decades later. 
Meanwhile, just about month ago on July 5th the country had celebrated 70th birthday anniversary of Nursultan and 12th year anniversary of Astana.

A month prior to this event, Kazakhstan Parliament (Majilis) declared him as “Leader of the Nation” and confirmed upon him and his family lifetime immunity from prosecution.

Oil is the major source of Kazakhstan’s development and protector of huge wasteful at times spending, which hardly any other country’s budget could bear. This country is heavily investing in infrastructure, thanks to oil. The country has formulated number of projects designed to diversify its extraction sector dependent economy and develop other sectors of industry. The major factor for its achievements is its ability to learn from the best experiences of mankind.

To lead the country, it has employed Singaporean leader Li Yu Kuan as advisor. To prepare human capital at world level, special fund “Boloashak (the future)” was created and operating since 1993. It had prepared 2400 highly qualified specialists in western prestigious universities and today there are over 3000 students studying. As for the capital city’s construction is concerned, it has received proposals from 52 best international companies and selected Japanese architecture Kurakawa project and building Astana city according to this exceptionally well done plan. Two most distinct landmark of this city: – Pyramid Palace of peace and consents and new shopping and entertainment center Khan Shatyr, both are the work of famous British architecture Foster.

The difference, compared to Mongolia is that the country has a leader, who ensures the accomplishment of every state decision, and demands the implementation of the decisions at every level of state administration and makes everyone to work hard and if anyone fails to accomplish the target then hold responsible for it in such a way that one can never forget. A leader is a someone, who first of all has a vision, then makes the priority goals, mobilizes all resources and leads personally to achieve the goal and deliver the result.

As far as errors and mistakes, it is not easy to say definitely at the moment. Kazakhstan has been talking for number of years about becoming self-sufficiency in many industries, yet it imports today almost everything to meet their demand.

The income gap in the society is widening, yet it seems the state and government supports it. Another similarity between Astana and Paris is price. Only prices of goods in Astana are bit higher. In one of the restaurants in the new downtown we were bluntly said that if the table order will not reach 30,000 tenge \about US$200\ then there will be no service.

Or, the admission ticket for newly built Khan Shatyr entertainment center is 10,000 tenge \about US$70\ and accordingly there were only very few people.

At the gate of the Khan Shatyr, like at many airports, taxi drivers were looking for passengers, on the way to the hotel a driver of taxi told me confidentially that the city is designed not people like him. Over half of the newly built apartment buildings remain empty, yet it would not hurt the state budget. 
One of the Government advisors, an economist said that it is better to serve few people with high prices rather than many with cheap prices.

In terms of low income people concern, there was not much difference between our two countries since the minimum income level or per person need for food and other goods and services per month was 13743 tenge \US$92\ close to 80$ in Mongolia.

There is a strong state control over media. It is forbidden to write about anything and anybody regarding cases or accused persons prior to court decision as if it would regarded as effort to influence the judges’ decisions. In such cases, the journalist would be interrogated by the local administration and who should make minutes. A quite number of journalists have been found guilty in this regard and are imprisoned, according to an article published in “Svovoda slov” (freedom of words) newspaper.

Total population is 16 million, of which a half is Kazakhs, and rest are Russian and other nationals. But the language of lingua is Russian. De facto official language used in administration is also Russian. Yet, anyone who does not speak Kazakh language will not be accepted as a civil servant.

In any case, the world community recognizes the achievements of this county and the endeavors of its leader. This year Kazakhstan is chairing Organization for European Cooperation and Security (OECS) and the summit of this organization is going to be held in December of this year in Astana. Almost all leaders of the world will come to this city. A day before yesterday, esteemed Nur has stated that “this summit is a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the world Kazakhstan’s national values: tolerance, respect of tradition, trust and mutual understanding”.

Can’t we Mongolians study the part of experiences of Kazakhstan, where they have made such achievements and reflect in our own action? 
Or do we must make first own “Leader of the Nation”?

Astana city

Friday, August 6, 2010

Benefit and its Cost

“UB Post”

August 06, 2010

Seems like we are little bit short-sighted. Doesn’t the miser pay double?

Only the Chinese was buying Mongolian minerals before and surely, they will be buying it further. Only the Chinese had been selling the copper from Erdenet Mine through American dealers and is still selling. It has been same with gold. China borders with our country and is the biggest market in the world, whose demand and consumption has been growing more and more. It is quite observable in terms of coal. Russia is geographically the biggest state in the world, which has more coal reserves than our country.

We, the Mongolians, are going to get loans to finance the building of infrastructure, including power plants, railroad, supporting factories required for the excavation and shipment of our coal and other minerals to China whether processed or unprocessed, from China itself, when China is about to have all benefits from that and take all coals. Private companies have already been acting as to such scheme.

It means Mongolia pays for all of other related expenses alone, when China takes all the profits and benefits almost without a single dollar spent. Though these expenses and costs are gallantly called in various ways such as fund raising or finding an investment source, in final it means that we are paying double price for a single thing.

Such a payment is beneficial not for the country but only for politicians. In the country like ours, which is ruled by political parties that are not well-established and that have no structure of internal responsibility, the politicians use this money for own private business in an open or hidden way and saves it to distribute in cash to people to win next elections. They beg money on the name of the people from every foreign country they go to for visits, for own pocket and for the interest of political parties they belong to. Later the people repay the begged money from own pockets. There is no priceless thing in the world, but we have many politicians, who believe that there is. Russians have never abandoned the Erdenet Factory even in their times of hardship, because the factory was built by Russians’ money. They build all infrastructures for the factory and the Erdenet City and prepared Mongolian specialist at own costs.

But what will we do if the Chinese decide to stop buying in case if the coal price drops or finding a pretext not to buy our coal? We will be paying off the debt plus interests despite the fact that we are not able to sell coal.

Instead, cannot we simply put the following requirements? Excavate and ship the coal at your own costs and also build necessary infrastructure. Do it as to our /Mongolian/ standards. Mongolians must work on projects of facilities undertaken in our territory. All activities must comply with our regulations, codes and norms. All exploitation activities are to be controlled by competent Mongolian agencies. But the deposits must be returned to us after certain years. In addition, goods must be supplied to local market. Must pay exploration and other taxes. African countries have already started to put such conditions and requirements for foreigners.

Previously, some African countries got into the trap like as we are about to get into, took sizeable amount of loan from mining companies and government officials of that time embezzled the loan money. As result, these countries have been barely paying off only interest of that big debt from generation to generation. In such countries, those part of population who are wealthier, educated and intelligent, had left the country, while those who are clueless, feckless and weak and who are not able to make something out of what is given, left home, living in constant poverty and illness. These countries turned into “extinct states” begging from all foreign countries: Clear example is Nigeria. This country is among the leaders with its oil reserve, but it is one of the poorest and the most corrupted country in the world that cannot pay off even the interest of its debts took many years ago.

As for Russians, they have made a deal to collect the most of railroad charges not matter which direction the Mongolian minerals are transported too.

It is right time to rethink all about these. Otherwise, as a widely recognized expert on global politics and geo-politician Patag Khanna said, China would have bought Mongolia about after a decade.

Anyway, Mongolia is now called “Mine-golia”.

Translated by P.Shinebayar