Opinion: about by-election of constituency no.24 in Ulaanbaatar on Oct 18

MPRP (Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party) just held grand opening ceremony of its candidate Zorigt Dashdorj's by-election campaign.
38 year old Zorigt is Minister of Minerals and Energy and considered by many as promising, young cadre of the Party. With Zorigt's nomination, political career of Enkhbayar Nambar, former President effectively ended. Enkhbayar really wanted to get nominated as candidate of MPRP, a party he once led. He said " I'm still young and have enough experience and wisdom and willing to use it for the country." 51 year old former President is now being questioned by the Anti-Corruption agency which acted upon tip. When he was in power, civic groups called him "Godfather of Mongolian corruption" and demanded many times his resignation. Some blamed him orchestrating privatization of country's top bank-Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia for his own benefit.
His biggest accomplishment could be settlement of Mongolian debt to former Soviet Union. Enkhbayar persuaded then Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in December 2003 to clear Mongolian debt of 10 billion convertible rouble for $ 250 million only.

Zorigt's election platform largely runs on development of Mongolian mining sector-successful re-negotiation with Ivanhoe Mines. It is likely that Ms.Burmaa, candidate of the Mongolian Democratic party will portray current Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement negatively. Constituency no.24, a large Ger district of Ulaanbaatar in the past supported candidates of Mongolian Democratic Party.

MPRP, a former communist party credited saving Mongolian nation from extinction at the turn of 19th century, evolved into Central European style-socialist party with much emphasis on social welfare and state participation.

Mongolian Democratic party, merger of several small parties-social democrats, liberal right-wing parties and credited for bringing democratic values, individual freedom and free-market economic concepts in country emphasizes same values as MPRP.

Differences of the two major political parties of Mongolia blurred very much now and only its members-individual people are different.

Since there would not be much difference in political views, the two candidates would have few things to disagree and fight over. MonInfo News Service will be following the developments of the by-election. Therefore, keep checking our site.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo news service
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