President Chorloogijn Tjojbalsan -
"Mongolia's Stalin" - was the leader of the Communist
country from 1939 to 1952, when he died. The political
thaw in the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev in the
1950s also affected Mongolia. Some liberalization
occurred under the successor of the Tjojbalan
Soviet influence remained significant in all areas of
society, while the Chinese attempts to influence were
rejected by the leaders of Ulan Bator. In the mid-1960s,
thousands of Chinese working in the country were
expelled. Mongolia instead received tens of thousands of
Soviet soldiers, who were stationed along the
Mongolian-Chinese border, among other things, and
contributed to the Soviet Union's defense against China.
List of most commonly used acronyms containing Mongolia. Also includes historical, economical and political aspects of the country.
In 1984, Tsedenbal was forced out of power by
opponents within the ruling Communist Party. The
successor, Zhambyn Batmönch, tried to implement
political reforms similar to President Mikhail
Gorbachev's glass nest in the Soviet Union, but the
half-hearted reform attempts failed to save the
communist dictatorship. In 1986, President Gorbachev
declared that Soviet troops would be withdrawn from
Mongolia. Six years later, the last Soviet soldiers left
The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe from 1989
to 1990 inspired opposition to political rule in
Mongolia. New parties were formed and large
demonstrations were held. The most significant
opposition movement, the Mongol Democratic
Association, and its most important phalanx,
the Mongol Democratic Party (MDP), were
soon recognized by the regime and a dialogue began.
President Batmönch resigned, the constitution was
rewritten and the Communist Party's monopoly of power
abolished. But in the 1990 parliamentary elections, the
Reformed Communist Party won the Mongolian
Revolutionary Party (MPRP) a full 357 out of
430 seats. The largest opposition party became the MDP
with 16 seats. The MPRP's big victory was partly because
the electoral system favored the ruling party and partly
because the opposition was divided. Despite the clear
election results, a broad coalition government was
formed. Parliament elected MPRP leader Punsalmaagijn
Otjirbat as president.
Although the MPRP retained its dominant position, the
communist era was definitely over. A new constitution
was adopted in 1992 and the country changed its name
from the Mongolian People's Republic to Mongolia alone.
In the same year, general elections were held for the
new single-chamber parliament, the big hural, and the
MPRP again won over the divided opposition. The party
received 57 percent of the vote but as much as 90
percent of the parliamentary mandate, as the electoral
system favored rural areas where the MPRP was strong.
After the election loss, the MDP merged with four
other parties and formed the Mongolian National
Democratic Party (MNDP), which required the
introduction of a proportional electoral system. But
MPRP instead increased their own chances of winning
future elections by introducing majority elections in
Opposition takes over
Ahead of the 1996 elections, the opposition succeeded
in gathering in the Democratic Alliance,
which won 50 of Parliament's 76 seats. MPRP's defeat was
explained by popular dissatisfaction with widespread
corruption and financial abuse among the power holders.
The non-socialist government started selling out
state-owned companies, raising prices for previously
subsidized goods, mainly energy. It obviously became a
shock to the population. In the 1997 presidential
election, the newly appointed MPRP leader Natsagijn
Despite the growing dissatisfaction of the
inhabitants, the government continued with the economic
transformation. Loss-generating state-owned companies
were closed down and municipal service charges
increased. Reform policy received praise from Western
countries, but the new openness also attracted fraud.
The coalition was plagued by internal tearing and
frequent exchanges at the Prime Minister's post. At the
same time, the economy deteriorated, unemployment was
high, crime and corruption flourished and
dissatisfaction increased among the Mongols.
In the 2000 election, MPRP won a landslide victory.
The new MPRP government promised increased wages and
pensions, but at the same time advocated continued
After the election loss, MNDP merged with four other
parties and formed the Democratic Party
MPRP leader Bagabandi was re-elected president in May
Drought and increased poverty
The years 2000-2001 were characterized by prolonged
drought, followed by extremely cold winters. A large
part of the country's livestock stock went down. Poverty
increased, famine was threatened and Mongolia received
emergency relief from outside.
The major opposition parties formed before the June
2004 parliamentary elections, the Democratic
Alliance of the Democratic Coalition.
The election results showed a dead run between the blocs
and the MPRP and the opposition formed a unity
government. Democratic activist Tsachiagijn Elbegdorzj
from DP became new prime minister.
The cooperation was soon subjected to pressure. The
spring of 2005 was marked by popular protests against
widespread corruption and the many economic reforms. In
the May presidential election, MPRP party leader
Nambaryn Enchbajar won.
In January 2006, the unifying government collapsed.
MPRP's new leader Mijeegombyn Enchbold formed a new
government with members from his own party and three
small parties as well as with defunct DP politicians.
At the MPRP party congress in October of the same
year, Enchbold was forced out of the party leader post.
Sanzjaagijn Bajar was elected new chairman. One month
later, Enchbold also handed over the Prime Minister's
post to Bajar.
The contradictions between the two major parties MPRP
and DP were great before the 2008 parliamentary
elections. Several parties also worried about the
environmental impact of the quarry and expressed doubts
about whether the profits from mining would benefit the
population. In 2006, a new law was passed which
stipulated that the state should own at least 50 percent
of a mine. Particularly contentious were the ongoing
negotiations between the state and the international
mining companies that wanted to mine gold and copper in
Ojuu Tolgoj in the Gobi Desert.
Before the election, the opposition also criticized
the government for high inflation and widespread
corruption in the country. A new electoral law, which
meant that part of the mandate would be distributed
according to a proportional system, was expected to
favor the opposition and increase the ability of the
small parties to enter parliament.
But despite the new electoral law, the ruling MPRP
won 47 of the 76 seats in Parliament and thus gained its
own majority. DP became the largest opposition party
with 26 seats. The turnout was 74 percent, the lowest
rate since democratization in 1990.
The election result was followed by accusations from
the opposition about cheating and manipulation of the
results in several constituencies. DP demanded
recalculation of the votes, while other parties accused
both MPRP and DP of electoral fraud.
Widespread popular frustration over the election
results, corruption and growing social divisions led to
violent riots erupting in the capital Ulan Bator the
days after the election. The MPRP's office was set on
fire, five people were killed and 716 people were
arrested by the police. President Nambaryn Enchbajar
announced an emergency permit for four days to give the
police extended powers to stop the riot. That meant a
nightly curfew, tough media restrictions (only the state
TV station could broadcast its programs) and a stop for
The riot was wounded and 244 of those arrested were
sentenced to prison. The police management was later
fired for deficiencies in handling the rattles.
Collective government takes over
The DP withdrew from the violence but declared that
the party intended to boycott the work in Parliament, as
it considered it to be deprived of the election victory.
Only in September 2008 was the crisis resolved and a
government installed with MPRP leader Sanzjaagijn Bajar
as prime minister. He formed a unity government with the
DP, which received 40 percent of the ministerial posts.
In protest of the collaboration, DP Party leader
Tsachiagijn Elbegdorzj resigned and was replaced by the
The government and the parties decided to re-launch a
review of the electoral law.
When the presidential elections were held in May
2009, everything went smoothly. Elbegdorzj, who was
running for DP, won 51 percent of the vote against 47
percent of MPRP ex-president Enchbajar.
Upon his entry, Elbegdorzj promised, among other
things, to fight corruption. With the elections behind,
the government finally succeeded in agreeing with the
companies that wanted to break gold and copper in the
Gobi Desert. In October 2009, an agreement was signed
giving the Mongolian state 53 percent of ownership in
the mines in question. Three years later, Parliament
passed a controversial new law that restricted foreign
investment to 49 percent of the shares when the deals
totaled more than $ 75 million.
Severe drought in the summer of 2009 was followed by
an extremely cold winter 2010. Lack of bait occurred and
caused mass death among the cattle on the steppe. An
estimated 8.5 million animals died, or just over a fifth
of the stock. A quarter of the 800,000 shepherds lost
their livelihoods and nearly a quarter of the population
needed emergency relief. In the summer of 2010, the UN
appealed for disaster relief to Mongolia.
In the same year, MPRP changed its name to the
Mongolian People's Party (MPP). The
change of name caused division within the party. The
following year, a party flank, led by Enchbajar, broke
out of MPP and formed a new party under the old party
In January 2012, DP left the government to prepare
for the upcoming June elections.
In April 2012, former President Enchbajar was jailed
in Ulan Bator, accused of corruption. Enchbajar claimed
that it was his political opponents who wanted to put
him there. He was later sentenced to four years in
prison for corruption and abuse of power.
In the June parliamentary elections, DP won 31 out of
76 seats, while 25 seats went to MPP and the remaining
seats to small parties. The turnout was relatively low,
65 percent. The official result dragged on at the time
of technical problems in the voting, despite the
introduction of a new electronic counting system to
avoid the chaos that characterized the 2008 election.
MPP and eight smaller parties filed a protest demanding
that the votes be reconsidered for hand.
DP initiated government negotiations with the
Justice Coalition, which received 11 seats in
the election, which also included the newly formed MPRP
of Enchbajar, and with the smaller party the
Civil Courage Party -The Greens.
In August, Norovyn Altanchujag was appointed
prime minister of the new coalition government.