Mongolian opposition demands PM's resignation for visiting detained aide

ULAN BATOR, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The opposition Mongolian People's Party on Monday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag for a recent visit to a senior advisor who has been arrested on embezzlement charges.
Jamiyan Munkhbat, secretary general of the Mongolian People's Party, told a press conference that Altankhuyag's meeting with his senior advisor Luumed Gansukh in detention was in serious violation of relevant law and regulations.
"We conclude that the PM's visit to his senior advisor in jail is an action to cover up the crime and to negotiate rather than a mere visit to his party comrade," he said.
The opposition party demanded that an irregular session of the parliament, which is in summer recess, be held immediately to discuss the alleged violation of laws by the prime minister and the justice minister, and to impeach them.
On Friday, the Independent Agency Against Corruption (IAAC) said the prime minister's visit to Gansukh was in violation of law as such a meeting requires the presence of investigators, the prosecutors and lawyers.
In a video footage released on Friday by the IAAC, Altankhuyag, accompanied by Justice Minister Khishigdemberel Temuujin and his bodyguards, was seen arriving at and entering the jail complex on Thursday.
Gansukh and three other officials were arrested on Wednesday night by the anti-corruption agency.
The IAAC was investigating Gansukh, who was also former minister of natural environment and tourism, for alleged embezzlement of 3.6 billion tugrug (1.9 million U.S. dollars) in a government subsidy program.
According to the agency, companies set up by family members of Gansukh made fortune from the purchases and sales of 279,000 tons of coal as subsidies for thousands of households in Ulan Bator slums.
The IAAC is considered a state institution primarily responsible to Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. Analysts said the confrontation between the agency and the government indicated the conflict between the president and the prime minister.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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