Mongolia is still struggling with the traces
of its communist heritage and the transition to market
economy has created economic and social divisions. The
political issues that dominate the debate include how
income from the country's mining industry should be
distributed and about the widespread corruption.
The Democratic Party (DP) won in the 2012
parliamentary elections and formed government together
with the Justice Coalition, an
association of two smaller parties see Political system.
The government cooperation also included the small party
Civil Courage Party -The Greens.
Before the election, the DP ruled with the Mongolian
People's Party (MPP), a successor to the old Communist
Party and which dominated politics since the transition
to democracy in the early 1990s.
Country facts and history of Mongolia, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
The Democratic Party also won the presidential
election in 2013. Against the DP's candidate, the
incumbent President Tsachiagijn Elbegdorzj, stood the
lawyer, parliamentarian and former wrestler
Badmaanyambuu Bat-Erdene of the MPP and the former
health minister Natsag Udval who was the first woman to
stand in a presidential election. She was running for
MPRP, an outbreak of MPP (see Modern History), as party
leader and president Nambarijn Enchbajar stood accused
Elbegdorzj already won the first round with strong
support from the country's urban middle class. Observers
from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE) criticized the media's limited opportunity
to report freely in connection with the election.
At the top of the agenda for government work,
President Elbegdorzh set out to attract more foreign
investment to the country, including by allowing mining
in a larger area, and fighting corruption. Elbegdorzh
advocated "resource-nationalism", which meant that
profits from the mining industry would benefit the
country to a greater extent and not only end up in the
pockets of the foreign mining companies. Critics have
pointed out that a large part of the population still
lives in poverty, despite the strong economic growth
that the mining industry provides.
Problem of corruption
Corruption is a problem both for foreign investors
and for the Mongols themselves. According to a 2013
survey by the Transparency International
organization , 86 percent of respondents in
Mongolia responded that the government was ineffective
when it came to preventing corruption. 45 percent
responded that they paid bribes themselves.
The environmental problems that result from the
mining industry are also a hot issue. In the fall of
2013, gunfire erupted in the capital as protesters,
protesting against the mines' pollution of the
environment, tried to enter parliament.
After the parliament resigned from Prime Minister
Norovyb Altanchujag in November 2014, partly because of
allegations that he was involved in corruption,
Tjimedijn Sajchanbileg was appointed new Prime Minister.
The opposition party MPP boycotted the vote, but a month
later the party chose to join a broad coalition
government with both the DP and the Justice Coalition
and the Civil Courage Party-The Greens. The main reason
the parties chose to govern together was the need to
deal with the difficult economic situation in the
Eight months later, however, MPP was fired from the
government. Prime Minister Sajchanbileg received support
in Parliament for a proposal to dismiss all MPP
ministers. Assessors believed that the reason why the
MPP was excluded from the government was to politically
separate the country's largest parties ahead of the
upcoming elections in June 2016.
Dissatisfaction with the government's economic policy
combined with an economic decline led to the DP losing
the election. During DP's time in power, foreign
companies had become more difficult to establish in
Mongolia and the weaker growth in China had a negative
impact on the export industry. The MPP, which in
particular promised child families a number of benefits
during the election campaign, won almost 90 percent of
the parliamentary mandate. The new parliament then
approved Zjargaltulgyn Erdenebat as new prime minister.
Presidential Election 2017
The remainder of 2016 and the first half of 2017 were
characterized by domestic political quarrels and
economic crisis. A sharp decline in foreign investment
and falling commodity prices led to financial problems,
while government spending was high. Prime Minister
Erdenebat then turned to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) for financial support. A loan package was
negotiated for the equivalent of $ 5.5 billion, which
included reforms that would help Mongolia reduce budget
deficits and government debt as well as the high
dependency on commodities. Other lenders such as the
World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan and South
Korea joined in with support.
But the help was associated with tough austerity
measures. The government must reduce government spending
and taxes must be increased, as is the retirement age.
In the June 26, 2017 presidential election, the
Democratic Party (DP) candidate, former boxer
Chaltmaagijn Battulga, won by 38 percent of the vote.
But that wasn't enough for him to win the presidential
post. A second round of elections was therefore held on
July 7 between Battulga and MPP candidate Mijeegombyn
Enchbold. In the second and decisive round of the
presidential election, Battulga won by about 51 percent
of the vote over Enchbold, which got about 41 percent.
The turnout was around 60 percent.
A few months after the ruling party MPP's candidate
Enchbold lost the presidential election, the party
decided to demand the resignation of Prime Minister
Erdenebat. One of the reasons why the party lost the
presidential election was considered to be that the
party elite had escaped having received large sums of
money in exchange for ministerial posts. Erdenebat was
also accused of bribing voters and of having ministers
enriched by companies with ties to them winning
government procurement equivalent to several hundred
million dollars. But perhaps the most important reason
for the setback in the MPP presidential election was the
dissatisfaction of the population with the austerity
agreements that the Erdenebat government agreed with the
IMF earlier this year.
A majority of MEPs voted in mid-September 2017 to
dismiss Erdenebat and his government. MPP agreed at the
end of the same month to appoint Uchnaagiin Chürelsüch
as Erdenebat's successor. Chürelsüch was appointed new
Prime Minister by Parliament in early October. Difficult
tasks awaited Chürelsüch, he must not only try to unite
the fragmented government party, but also deal with the
soaring state debt of nearly $ 23 billion. It remained
to be seen how long he would be in his post, no prime
minister has sat for a full term since 2000.
Corona pandemic and the 2020 election
In the spring of 2020, Mongolia was also reached by
the new corona virus, which began to spread in China in
Wuhan city in late 2019. Mongolia responded when the
virus outbreak became known to close the border with
China and when the first case of the virus-caused
disease covid-19 was initially reported by March the
country's largest cities for entry and exit were closed
to stop the spread of infection. Schools were also
forced to close, as were restaurants and shops.
Mongolia, unlike many other countries in its
vicinity, managed to avoid a greater spread of infection
during the spring. In June, only 200 cases of covid-19
had been reported and no one was reported to have died
in the disease. The successful handling of the pandemic
benefited the ruling MPP, who again won big in the
parliamentary elections on June 24, 2020.
However, the government was facing major problems,
not least financial ones in the wake of the pandemic. It
was not only business life, the restaurant industry and
tourism that was severely affected by the closure of
society, but also important coal exports had decreased
due to lower demand and the closing of the country's
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FACTS - POLITICS
Mongol Uls / Mongolia
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Chaltmaagijn Battulga (2017–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Uchnaagiin Chürelsüch (2017–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Mongolian People's Party 62, Democratic Party 11
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Mongolian People's Party 65, Democratic Party 9,
Others 2 (2016)
about 60 percent in the July 2017 presidential
election; about 73 percent in the June 2020
presidential elections 2021, parliamentary elections