Mongolia. According to
countryaah, Mongolia's enormous wealth of coal, copper,
gold and other minerals became a hot topic in this year's
parliamentary elections. Due to the mining industry, the
economy grows by double digits every year. But growth is
largely driven by foreign investment, and among the poor
population there is a strong dissatisfaction that large
parts of the profits end up with foreign companies or in the
pockets of Mongolian politicians.
Corruption is difficult. The Anti-Corruption Authority
said it had evidence against 600 officials or politicians.
During the election movement, a very vigilant arrest was
made by the former president and now opposition politician
Nambarijn Enchbajar in connection with a corruption
investigation. Filmed by TV cameras, a police force stormed
the house where he was located, and Enchbajar's supporters
believed the arrest was politically motivated. He was
released on bail for health reasons after conducting a
hunger strike in protest.
Enchbajar planned to run for election as the leader of a
new political party, which demanded that Mongolia's mineral
resources should remain under domestic control. A few weeks
before the June elections, Enchbajar was charged with
corruption and abuse of power, but according to him, the
documents used against him were forged. Enchbajar claimed a
political vendetta from President Tsachiagijn Elbegdorj, who
wanted to stop him from running in the parliamentary
The struggle of Chinese, Russian and American interests
over the ownership of one of the world's largest coal
deposits, Tavan Tolgoi in the Gobi Desert, resulted in the
parliament in May adopting a new law restricting major
foreign investment in strategic sectors, such as the mining
industry, to 49% of ownership.
After the June election, the result was delayed due to
technical problems with a new electronic voting system.
Eventually, it became clear that the market-liberal
Democratic Party had become the largest with 31 of the
parliament's 76 seats. The reformed Communist Party, now the
Social Democratic Party, the Mongolian People's Party, had
lost close to half of its mandates and stayed on 25. In
third place with 11 seats came the Justice Coalition, which
consisted of Nambarijn Enchbajar's new party (outbreak of
the Mongolian People's Party) and another party.
The Democratic Party electorate had withdrawn from its
government co-operation with the Mongolian People's Party
before the election, and after the election, instead entered
into negotiations with the Justice Coalition. These two
formed a new government with Democratic Party leader Norovin
Altanchujag as prime minister.
The Justice Coalition demanded that President Nambarijn
Enchbajar be acquitted of the August verdict against him:
four years in prison for corruption and abuse of power.
According to Enchbajar, it was a political judgment he
During the year, the last Lenin statue was taken down in
the capital Ulaanbaatar. At a ceremony in which protesters
threw shoes on the statue of the former Soviet communist
leader, Vladimir Lenin and his communist comrades were
described as murderers. During the Cold War, Mongolia was in
practice a Soviet satellite state.
After 30 years of searching, researchers in 2012 were
able to document, for the first time, snow leopard cubs in
the wild. It happened in the Toast Mountains of Mongolia.
Swedish researchers led the international project, which
found three kids in two different shelters. The researchers
had previously very limited knowledge of the life of snow
leopards in the wild.