Mongolian Democratic Revolution
In 1989, the Mongolian democratic revolution
began, led by Sanjaasurengiyn Zorig. Free elections held in Aug. 1990
produced a multiparty government, though it was still largely Communist.
As a result, Mongolia has moved only gradually toward a market economy.
With the collapse of the USSR, however, Mongolia was deprived of Soviet
aid. Primarily in reaction to the economic turmoil, the Communist
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won a significant majority
in parliamentary elections in 1992. In 1996, however, the Democratic
Alliance, an electoral coalition, defeated the MPRP, breaking with
Communist rule for the first time since 1921. But in 1997, a former
Communist and chairman of the People's Revolutionary Party, Natsagiyn
Bagabandi, was elected president, further strengthening the hand of the
antireformers. Then, in 1998, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, a pro-reform
politician, became prime minister, but parliamentary cross-purposes led to
his resignation, and a succession of prime ministers followed.
In 2005, Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the former Communist party MPRP became president,
and Miyeegombo Enkhbold, also of the MPRP, was elected prime minister in
2006. Enkhbold resigned in Nov. 2007 after the
MPRP ousted him as chairman of the party, citing his weakness as a leader.
Sanj Bayar succeeded Enkhbold as both party chairman and prime
Unprecedented violence and rioting followed June
2008's parliamentary elections, prompting the government to declare a
state of emergency. Five people were killed, hundreds were injured, and
more than 700 people were detained. Preliminary results gave 45 seats to
the governing MPRP and 28 seats to the opposition Democratic Party.
International observers did not report any irregularities in the voting,
but the Democratic Party accused the MPRP of fraud. Meanwhile, Mongolia continues to be plagued by poor economic growth, corruption, and inflation.
In presidential elections, former prime minister, Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj (opposition Democratic Party), defeated incumbent Nambaryn Enkhbayar Won (MPRP) in a 51% to 47% victory. Elbegdorj took office in June 2009. Prime Minister Bayar resigned in October 2009, citing health reasons. He was succeeded by Foreign Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold.