On guard in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, September 2023. Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

The visit in early July of Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov to Beijing would have gone largely unnoticed but for an unexpected announcement. Krasnov revealed that he and his Chinese colleagues had discussed the need to counteract the increasing Western influence on their “inner neighbor”, Mongolia. To this end, Krasnov said, he had already forwarded a proposal to his Mongolian counterpart to help strengthen ties with both China and Russia.

Krasnov’s remarks triggered alarm bells in Mongolia. For the past three decades, Mongolia has tried desperately to keep itself at arm’s length from its two neighbors, in part by exploiting their differences and in part by pursuing closer relations with the West.…  Seguir leyendo »

A voter receives gloves at a polling station in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on June 24. (Khurelkhuu Enkhjargal/AP)

When Mongolia held its June 24 parliamentary elections, more than 73 percent of voters turned up despite the heavy rains, and followed strict two-meter distancing requirements to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. The preliminary results show that the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), led by Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, won a landslide victory, securing 62 seats in the 76-member parliament with only 45 percent of the total votes.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) came in a distant second, winning 11 seats with 25 percent of the total votes. Two minor parties and an independent candidate won the remaining three seats.…  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 »

Mongolia’s new president Khaltmaa Battulga, left, is accompanied by outgoing president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj during his inauguration ceremony in Ulaanbaatar on July 10, 2017. (Reuters/B. Rentsendorj)

On July 7, Mongolians elected a new president: Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party (DP), a former artist and world champion in the martial art of sambo. In the country’s first runoff election, Battulga won 50.6 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating Miyegombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which holds a supermajority in parliament.

Battulga was sworn into office on July 11, succeeding his co-partisan and outgoing president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who was ineligible for reelection, having served two consecutive terms. Thus, divided government — also known as cohabitation — continues in Mongolia: A DP president faces a parliament controlled by the MPP.…  Seguir leyendo »

Here are 4 things to know about Mongolia’s presidential election on Monday

On June 26, Mongolians will elect a president from among three candidates: Enkhbold Miyegombo, leader of the governing Mongolian People’s Party (MPP); Battulga Khaltmaa, a former member of parliament from the main opposition Democratic Party (DP); and Ganbaatar Sainkhuu, a last-minute candidate of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP). Having served two terms, current President Elbegdorj Tsakhia of the DP is ineligible.

To win outright, a candidate needs an absolute majority of the votes; otherwise, a second round of voting will be held between the top two candidates.

Mongolia lacks what political scientists identify as prerequisites for a liberal democracy. Nevertheless, since a peaceful transition in 1990 from communism, democracy has proved remarkably robust, earning Mongolia praise.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Feb. 10, Japan and Mongolia signed an Economic Partnership Agreement that will come into effect this spring. Trade between the two countries is small — accounting for less than 1 percent of Japanese trade. The agreement is, however, of strategic importance as Japan seeks to negotiate closer economic ties with countries in the region. Mongolian mineral resources such as its coal deposits are increasingly important for Japan as it contemplates the appropriate energy mix at a time when it is considering how to reduce its dependence on nuclear power.

Japan, Mongolia, China and Russia exist alongside the United States within the World Trade Organization (WTO) system as equal members.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ayant fait faillite il y a 20 ans, en se déchargeant de ses responsabilités sur le dos de ses citoyens, l'Etat mongol s'est largement discrédité aux yeux de la population aujourd'hui. Cela s'explique par plusieurs points dont un qui me semble déterminant : l'arrivée des oligarques sur la scène politique.

Le Parti populaire révolutionnaire de Mongolie (PPRM) avec ses 70 ans d'histoire de construction du pays, les députés du Grand Khoural, les classes sociales composées d'ouvriers, d'intellectuels et de fonctionnaires du temps du bloc communiste ont disparu en laissant un vide derrière eux.

Une excellente opportunité de s'y infiltrer se présente donc aux profiteurs de la structure économique du temps communiste abandonnée par l'Etat sous prétexte de privatisation.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is a pity that Tania Branigan overstates the influence of "Mongolian neo-Nazis" in her article (Mongolian neo-Nazis: Anti-Chinese sentiment fuels the rise of ultra-nationalism, 2 August). She says that "a new strain of Nazism has found an unlikely home" in Mongolia and that "ultra-nationalists are … becoming more sophisticated and, quietly, more powerful" here. To illustrate this assertion, Branigan's article carries an alarming photograph of six swastika-bedecked Mongolian skinheads rigidly standing to attention with their right arms thrust in a "Heil Hitler" salute.

As a regular visitor to Mongolia since 1993 and a resident in Ulan Bator over the past 18 months, I find this skewed depiction of life here to be demeaning and unfair to Mongolians.…  Seguir leyendo »

"Mongolia is a young nation!" "Mongolia has just discovered that it is actually rich!" "Mongolia is in line to become another Kuwait or Saudi Arabia!" These sentences seemed to resurface in conversations with residents of UlaanBaatar during my brief visit last month. The conversations were about Mongolia's mining wealth, and the booming interest from international governments and multinational corporations.

The common theory, or hope, expressed to me by those working in the mining industry and in government-related jobs was that through the tax income and the infrastructure investments made by these mining companies, the quality of life in Mongolia would improve for everyone.…  Seguir leyendo »

Existe unanimidad sobre el éxito de la experiencia reformista en Mongolia, tanto desde la perspectiva política como de la económica. En poco tiempo, la joven república se ha consolidado como una de las democracias más abiertas de Asia gracias a su pluralismo político. Desde un primer momento, la transición a la democracia generó la necesidad política de reformar el sistema económico. De este modo, la reforma mongola se encuadra dentro del marco de las experiencias de las economías del este europeo y se distancia del modelo asiático en la medida en que los modelos de transición de Asia reforman el sistema económico sin alterar el statu quo político.…  Seguir leyendo »