Political Crisis in Mongolia Update

The political crisis in Mongolia continues, with the Parliament of
Mongolia holding an all-day plenary session on Friday, January 13 to
discuss the recent mass resignation of ministers from the Mongolian
People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP).
Ten MPRP Ministers resigned on
Wednesday, alleging that the existing government had demonstrated
incompetence in reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth.
The
MPRP had formed a grand coalition government with their
Democratic-Motherland Coalition rivals following protracted
negotiations in 2004.

The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Ts.
Elbegdorj (Democratic Party), expressed harsh criticism of the mass
resignation, yet asserted that Mongolia had fully embraced democracy in
the past 16 years, stating that he was confident the political crisis
could be resolved by peaceful means. In a meeting with reporters he
declared that there was no risk of the situation escalating into unrest
similar to that experienced during last year’s "Orange Revolution" in
Ukraine.

According to article 43.2 of the Constitution of
Mongolia, the Government must step down in its entirety upon the
resignation of the Prime Minister or if half of the members of the
Government resign at the same time. The decision to dissolve the
Government must be made by the Parliament within 15 days of receiving
notice of such a resignation.

The President of Mongolia, N.
Enkhbayar, told Parliament that "it is clear that Mongolia must not
allow a single day to pass without a legally-constituted Government",
and urged the Parliament to seek an urgent resolution to this crisis.
It remains unclear whether the recent withdrawal of the MPRP from the Government will lead to fresh elections.

Meanwhile
demonstrations by MPRP supporters continued on Friday in Sukhbaatar
Square outside the parliament building, following upon a protest rally
the day before in which the MPRP building had been briefly occupied by
demonstrators.
Mongolia’s television media have offered biased
coverage of the crisis, with approximately 80% of those polled by
Eagle-TV expressing criticism of the resignation, and 100% of those
polled by TV5 and TV9 demonstrating their support of the MPRP
ministers’ decision.

The cabinet ministers who have tendered their resignations are:

  • Deputy Prime Minister Ch.Ulaan,
  • Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, S.Batbold
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ts.Monkh-Orgil
  • Minister of Nature and Environment, U.Barsbold
  • Minister of Defense, Ts.Sharavdorj
  • Minister of Fuel and Energy, T.Ochirkhuu
  • Minister of Industry and Trade, Su.Batbold
  • Minister of Food and Agriculture, D.Terbishdagva
  • Minister of Health, T.Gandi, and
  • Minister of Emergencies, U.Khurelsukh

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