Mongolia. Deep economic crisis forced the government to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on rescue packages. According to Countryaah.com, mineral-rich Mongolia’s record growth had surpassed dramatic budget deficits following conflicts with investors, generous budget investments, falling commodity prices and stagnant exports. In order to receive a rescue package equivalent to close to SEK 50 billion, the government was forced to agree to severe budget cuts, increased taxes, increased retirement age and more. Among other things, China, Japan and South Korea contributed to the support package, which was one of the largest in the history of the IMF. The government’s goal was to reduce the budget deficit from 17% to less than 2% in four years. That meant painful austerity that the ruling Mongolian People’s Party was forced to defend in the June presidential election.
It was Miyeegombo Enkhbold. He was challenged in the election of the Democratic Party’s Chaltmaagijn Battulga, a businessman and successful former Jewish champion, and by the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party candidate Sainkhuu Ganbaatar. The challengers used nationalist rhetoric and criticism of Chinese and other foreign investors. There was a lot of dirt in the electoral movement, and all the candidates were accused of being corrupt.
Battulga and Enkhbold went on to a second decisive round in July, when Battulga won with 51% of the vote against 41% for the party’s candidate. The 54-year-old newly elected president Chaltmaagijn Battulga was accused of populism. He pledged to eradicate poverty and vented criticism and suspicion against China, Mongolia’s largest trading partner. But he gave his support to the plans for railroad construction from the big coal mine Tavan Tolgoi to China.
The loss of the Mongolian party in the presidential election was followed by internal revolt. Claims were raised on the departure of Prime Minister Jargatulga Erdenebat, and in September Parliament voted him out. The party leadership was accused of corruption, such as bribery of voters and contracts for companies in which ministers had interests.
In October, Parliament approved 49-year-old Uchnaagiin Ch邦rels邦ch from the ruling party as the new prime minister. He is seen as a leader in the party’s younger phalanx and is known as a motorcycle enthusiast.