• BY 
  • Our driver pulled into traffic in the crowded streets of Ulaanbaatar, grumbling to himself in Mongolian while nearly colliding with the car to our left. I looked at my sister in panic as I tried to grab for the seat belt hanging next to me.
    “Don’t put that on, it’s rude,” my sister laughed at me. “If you wear your seatbelt, you’re saying you don’t trust whoever is driving.”
    It was my first day in Mongolia, where I would spend the next month eating, sleeping and living like a Mongolian. Ulaanbaatar, commonly referred to as simply UB, seemed at least somewhat similar to other cities I had visited — despite the lack of seatbelts. However, I soon realized that Ulaanbaatar was nothing like the rest of the country.
    Mongolia holds a steady and small population of roughly 3 million people for a land area of over 600,000 square miles. To put that in perspective, France is less than 250,000 square miles with a population of nearly 67 million.
    Much of the country is vast wilderness, with everything from stunning mountain ranges to the expanses of the Gobi Desert. The population not living in the capital is spread out in tiny towns and villages, where many people survive in the way Mongolians have for thousands of years: herding livestock.
    I soon left the (relative) familiarity of the capital for my final destination — Zavkhan. The town where my sister has been living for the past year with the Peace Corps, deep in the Mongolian countryside, was nothing like anything I’ve seen before.
    Cattle roamed freely in the streets as men rode by us on horseback to get to the town center. The river running through the town flowed steadily from the snowmelt farther upstream. Everyone we passed stared at me with questioning eyes.
    In a small and relatively isolated town, visitors are easy to spot. Make those visitors American, and you’ve got a rare occurrence that everyone will know about instantly.
    We arrived at my sister’s ger, a semi-permanent tent that many Mongolians use as homes. Her Mongolian “family” came to meet us, greeting me and talking excitedly in Mongolian. The youngest child peeked at me from behind his mother’s legs, confused by the stranger in his home.
    They spoke rapidly with my sister as I stood silently, fully absorbing the idea that for the next month I would have little to no idea what anyone was saying.
    The few English speakers other than me included several American volunteers and Mongolians who teach English, all of whom spoke Mongolian the majority of the time. Most Mongolians only speak their native language, and the few that know a second language speak Russian due to its proximity.
    Over the next few days, I met dozens of Mongolians. My sister’s students followed me around the school when I visited, whispering to each other and giggling. I later learned that many of them had never seen someone with blonde hair and that they were calling me “Rapunzel.”
    My life continued in this routine of meeting Mongolians and following the actions of others. I ate and drank what was given to me, learning how to properly accept gifts and exchange greetings. I soon began responding to my sister with Mongolian phrases, even when we were speaking English.
    My experience in Mongolia is hard to summarize, because there’s nothing to compare it to that would do the country or the people justice. There are no landmarks to visit or tourist spots to see, nothing that I could describe that would make someone go, “That’s the Mongolia I know from books and movies.”
    Instead, I had moments. A night spent playing cards with a young Mongolian couple, acting like old friends even though we didn’t share a common language. A trip to the outhouse in the middle of the night that turned into stargazing in my sister’s yard. A questionable (but delicious) meat pancake from a stand on the side of the road.
    There’s no way to explain the experience of being piled into a minivan with 25 people who all needed to get into town. No way to describe hearing the beauty of a song played on a morin khuur, a traditional Mongolian instrument.
    Perhaps the best way to pull it all together is the happiness and peace exuding from every Mongolian. They’re content with family and friends and the town they grew up in. They don’t want for more or act rude to strangers.
    As I stood on a hill overlooking the Mongolian countryside, the sacred Mt. Otgontenger looming in the distance, I felt completely calm for the first time in what seemed like forever.
    With the land of the blue sky around me and home thousands of miles away, I was there. And I had no desire to be anywhere else.

Mongolia's TDB heard to hire banks for standalone US$300m bond

HONG KONG, Aug 24 (IFR) - Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia is said to have mandated three banks for a three-year $300 million stand-alone bond.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the banks are Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ING.
Roadshows are expected to begin in early September.
In May TDBM issued a $500 million government-guaranteed five-year bond at 9.375 percent, but the proposed new bond will not have a guarantee from the state.
The prospectus for that bond discussed an upcoming US$300 million maturity on September 20, but said the issuer had ample foreign reserves and an undrawn US dollar lending facility it could use to repay it.
The $500 million deal was criticised for paying a huge premium after it rallied to 103 in secondary trading and went even higher days later. The bonds are now trading close to par.
ING, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
TDBM did not respond to requests for comment. (Reporting By Spencer Anderson; Editing by Vincent Baby and Daniel Stanton)


The Hirshon Mongolian Khuushuur – хуушууp
Khuushuur Image Used Under Creative Commons License From http://cookwithoyuka.blogspot.com
Mongolia is a landlocked country in east-central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and also the largest city, is home to about 45% of the population. Approximately 30% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic.
At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 19th largest and one of the most sparsely populated independent countries in the world, with a population of only 3 million people. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south.
The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, and his grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty.
In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia and it was accelerated by the unwavering support of the Qing government after Mongolia was absorbed by the Manchu Qing dynasty. In the 1900s almost half of the adult male population were Buddhist monks.
By the mid-18th century, all of Mongolia had been incorporated into the area ruled by the Qing dynasty. During the collapse of the Qing dynasty Mongols established the Temporary Government of Khalkha on 30 November 1911, before the abdication of the last Qing emperor and the establishment of the Republic of China.
Shortly thereafter, the country came under Soviet control, resulting in the proclamation of the Mongolian People’s Republic as a Soviet satellite state in 1924. After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia saw its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990; it led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and transition to a market economy.
Khuushuur is Mongolia’s version of a handheld meat pastry. It’s a circle of wheat flour dough folded in half around a filling of minced or ground mutton, sometimes beef, and pan- or deep-fried. The meat is seasoned with onion and salt; some cooks add garlic and pepper as well. It’s possible to get versions with a mix of potatoes, carrots and/or cabbage as well, but these are far less popular. (Vegetarians beware: the veg versions can taste strongly of mutton from the cooking oil.)
Mongolians traditionally were nomads, not farmers, and did not grow wheat. Khuushuur and its dumpling siblings, buuz and bansh, are localized versions of Chinese dumplings.
European and Mediterranean influences can be seen in the use of coriander, cilantro, paprika, caraway and typically European spices such as fennel and marjoram. Persian and Arab influences can be seen in the pomegranates, almonds, saffron and sumac. Central Asia lends Mongolia its delicious onions and Africa gives its sesame seeds to be pressed into oil or enjoyed as a sauce for wheat or buckwheat noodles and vegetables.
Influences from the northern and western Indian subcontinental include the use of turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon and asafetida. Chinese influences can be found in the use of ginger, star anise, Sichuan pepper, soy sauce, and in the adaptations of such standards as rich, savory and sweet, hoisin sauce, five spice powder and great splashes of rice vinegar used by cooks and diners to add flavor to prepare dishes.
The Mongolians share the love of meal-soups with many cultures in northern Asia. They also share yogurt and fermented yogurt drinks and cheeses and the love of salty milk-tea and meat dumpling meals with the Central Asians and Tibetans.
At its most basic, khuushuur comes on a plate with paper napkins or tissues to pick it up. In a restaurant it comes four to an order with a lettuce leaf and gherkins on the side, carrot salad if the place is a bit more posh.
Some people eat khuushuur with ketchup or Maggi sauce, less often with mayonnaise.
Citizens, this is a recipe worth trying – feel the bracing wind of the Mongolian steppes as you enjoy this hearty meal! My version of the recipe includes traditional Mongolian spicing and has more flavor impact then the usual khuushuur you’d find on the street in Ulaanbaatar! :)
As is normal here on TFD, I’ve used metric measurements in this recipe as it includes making dough (precision is everything in baking).
Battle on – The Generalissimo
250g flour
150ml water
400g fatty lamb or mutton mince
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp caraway seeds, ground
1 ½ teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
750ml vegetable oil, for frying
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. To make the dough, put the flour in a large bowl then gradually add the water, mixing to a firm dough. Knead lightly for a minute or two, then wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge while you make the filling.
2 Mix the mince with the onion, garlic and spices, then take the dough out of the fridge. Divide into 16 pieces, then roll one out to a 10cm diameter circle. Place a couple of heaped tsps of the meat mix in the centre, then fold one side over the meat. Press the edges together, then fold the sealed edge over again, crimping as you go. Repeat with the remaining meat and dough.
3 In a wok or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil to around 180C, or when a piece of bread sizzles and turns golden in less than a minute. Gently lower the khuushuur into the oil in batches of 3-4, then cook for around 4 minutes until golden. Once all the khuushuur are cooked, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes in the oven, then serve.

U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia: Who Is Jennifer Zimdahl Galt?

On August 5, 2015, the Senate, by voice vote, confirmed Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, a career Foreign Service officer, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Mongolia.
Galt is from Fort Collins, Colorado, where her father, Robert Zimdahl, was a professor of bio-agricultural sciences at Colorado State University. She attended Colorado College, graduating with a B.A. in political science, history and languages. She later earned an M.A. from Johns Hopkins and an M.S. from the National Defense University in 2008.
Galt joined the Foreign Service in 1988, with her first overseas assignment coming the following year as assistant cultural affairs officer in the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Beginning in 1992, she spent two years studying Mandarin Chinese, which would serve her well over the years. She was assigned in 1994 to the American Institute in Taipei, Taiwan, which serves the function of an embassy in that country.
She went to India in 1997 as the assistant public affairs officer in the consulate in Mumbai. In 2000, she was sent to Beijing as assistant cultural affairs officer and remained in China for her next posting beginning in 2003 as public affairs gfficer in the Shanghai consulate.
Galt returned to Washington in 2008 as deputy director of the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. She was sent to North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010, first as public affairs advisor and the following year as senior public affairs advisor.
Galt went back to China in 2012 as the consul general in Guangzhou, supervising the 400-person office there. 
Galt is married to Fritz Galt, who writes spy novels set, perhaps not so coincidentally, in some of the same places his wife has served. He also helped found a newsletter for Foreign Service spouses. They have two children, Dylan and Phoebe. Galt speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish and Serbian.
-Steve Straehley

Why Mongolia should be on your rustic bucket list

 — A few weeks ago, I was bouncing down a bumpy Mongolian highway, seated in a Russian-made UAZ van with my wife and two friends. Our driver was a larger-than-life character named Oyunbaatar, or Ogii. He wore a beret and as he gripped the steering wheel, dodging potholes, he’d occasionally bark out streams of mystifying Mongolian.
In Russia, a UAZ van is known as a Bukhanka, or bread loaf, because of its boxy appearance. With impressive suspension, these off-road vehicles can be seen across Mongolia, rugged as the country’s vast grasslands.
As we soon learned.
Suddenly, without warning, Ogii veered off the highway, hit the gas and accelerated across the scrubby landscape and up a hillside. Within minutes, he had brought us to a 360-degree view of the steppes – with flocks of animals grazing in the distance, next to groups of white yurts, or gers as they are called here.
This is what travel is like in Mongolia: Huge distances. Broad vistas. Big skies. Bright stars.
For a week, we slept in gers, hiked mountains, rode horses, swam in lakes, soaked in hot springs. Along the way, we met several Mongolian families, including traditional herders who seasonally move their gers and animals to greener pastures.
Covering 603,000 square miles – roughly the size of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah combined – Mongolia is vast, but home to a mere 3 million people. Half of them live in Ulaanbaatar, the capital. Most of the rest are spread out on the grasslands, making a traditional living herding and breeding livestock.
Yet even in the outback, signs of modernization are everywhere.
On our first day on the road, we came across a large flock of camels, including some newborns. The camels made for excellent photos, but we were surprised by the two shepherds that soon arrived. They were riding a motorcycle.
The next day, we stopped at a ger camp, perched on a plateau and run by an elegant woman named Yandag. Inside her ger, Yandag was making a batch of urum, the Mongolian name for clotted cream, or “white butter.” She soon stepped outside to track her livestock with the aid of some high-quality binoculars.
Outside her ger stood solar panels and a satellite dish, for watching television.
Some Mongolians fret about the rapid change that is sweeping their country. One of these is Oyuntsetseg Suidaan – Oyuna – an Ulaanbaatar college English teacher who was our tour guide on the trip.
Oyuna isn’t nostalgic about the communist days of a quarter-century ago, when Mongolia was still a closed-off Soviet satellite. But she also doesn’t want her country to forget its history and customs.
“Little by little in the city, we are losing our traditions, our character,” she lamented one day, as we discussed Mongolia’s full-throttled embrace of capitalism. “We are becoming selfish.”
Perhaps that is why Oyuna chose to bring her 12-year-old daughter, Khuslen, on the trip. All of us were charmed by Khuslen and her unbridled enthusiasm. As for Oyuna, she seem delighted that her little city girl could experience the character of the countryside.
In every ger camp we visited, families would invite us inside and offer us something, usually suutei tsai – salty milk tea. As we sipped our drinks and chatted, we took note of the colorful, ornate furniture inside these tents, including the altars festooned with photos of several generations of family.
The land of Genghis Khan is a rare destination for American tourists. According to government figures, last year there were fewer than 15,000 visits by U.S. citizens to Mongolia, compared with 258,000 by Chinese passport holders. For lovers of nature and ancient cultures, Mongolia remains a relatively undiscovered gem. It feels like one of the last frontiers in Asia.
A typical road trip takes you west from Ulaanbaatar, the capital, through Khustain National Park, where Mongolia’s semi-wild Takhi horses are protected. More than 300 of these golden horses now roam the park, the result of a successful reintroduction project supported by the Dutch and Mongolian governments.
Further west is Khogno Khan Uul Nature Reserve, which is dotted with remains of old Buddhist temples, and one active one. You can camp here, explore the ruins and hike up a lovely creek into hills filled with wildflowers.
Many schedule their tours through Mongolia to catch one or more of the Nadaams – local festivals held in July and early August. These festivals, which celebrate Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse racing, are true spectacles. One of the most colorful is at Karakorum, about 230 miles west of Ulaanbaatar.
Back in the mid-1300s, Karakorum was the capital of Mongolia, made so by the heirs of Genghis Khan. But the city’s glory didn’t last long. When Kublai Khan conquered China, he decided to move the capital to Beijing. The city’s residents have never forgiven him for that.
But Karakorum is making a comeback. At the fairgrounds, crowds of people attended the Nadaam, some arriving on horses, some in new Toyota Land Cruisers. Troupes of sequined girls danced before an appreciative audience. Young men sat tall in the saddle, taking selfies of each other. Older women practiced archery. A nearby polo match kicked up a dust storm.
Every day seemed to bring some new visual splendor. We passed by a deep gorge that looked like a tributary to the Grand Canyon. We camped at a lake so vast and undeveloped that you just wanted to stare at it for hours.
But the thing I’ll remember most was a toast on the first night of our trip. Ogii, our driver, pulled out shot glasses and a bottle of Mongolian vodka. He insisted that we partake, and of course, how could say no?
The customary Mongolian toast involves dipping your right ring finger into the glass and flicking it three or four times. First we toasted the sky, then the earth. The last time we touched our fingers to our foreheads, gave thanks, and knocked back the shot.
We all did this. By the end of it, we felt like we were all members of a time-honored, secret club.

  • IF YOU GO:
    Tours: We booked our tour with Tselmeg Erdenekhuu, who runs Meg’s Adventure Toursin Ulaanbaatar. ( http://www.megmongolia.com/) Costs for a seven-day trip are about $665 per person for three people, which includes a driver, a guide, a van, lodging, food and tours. It does not include airfare. If Meg’s is booked, Lonely Planet has suggestions for other tour companies.
    Connections: There are no direct flights from the United States to Mongolia, but Ulaanbaatar is served by flights from China, Japan, South Korea and other countries. Mongolia makes for a relaxing diversion after a week of touring China.
    Preparations: U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Mongolia, but a visa may be needed for surrounding countries. A sleeping bag and a pad can be helpful for sleeping in gers, which may or may not have mattresses.

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/08/18/3993887/why-mongolia-should-be-on-your.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/08/18/3993887/why-mongolia-should-be-on-your.html#storylink=cpy


SouthGobi faces bankruptcy if unsuccessful to solve Mongolian tax dispute

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Coal producer SouthGobi Resources continued to seek an amicable resolution of its tax dispute with the Mongolian government, failing which, a court sanctioned financial penalty could trigger events of default with a Chinese funding partner and eventual bankruptcy. 
SouthGobi, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto-owned Turquoise Hill Resources, had in a January been found financially liable as a ‘civil defendant’ for a penalty of about $18-million, following a criminal tax investigation case. 
A panel of appointed judges from the Second District Criminal Court of Justice found three of the company's former employees guilty of tax evasion and gave sentences ranging from five and a half years, to five years and ten months of imprisonment in the correctional facilities of strict regimen, in Mongolia. 
Despite the company’s subsidiary, SouthGobi Sands (SGS), not being a party to the criminal proceedings, the court declared it to be financially liable. 
Following an unsuccessful appeal to the Second District Criminal Court of Justice, on April 22, SGS filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the decision of the 10th Appeal Court of Mongolia, upholding the tax verdict against SGS. SGS said that the Supreme Court had refused to hear the tax case on appeal and as such, the tax verdict had entered into force. 
However, SouthGobi alleged that the tax verdict was not immediately payabl, nor enforceable against SGS, as the subsidiary had not yet received a copy of the bailiff's resolution on execution of the verdict, as required under Mongolian law. 
SouthGobi said that it continued to believe that there was a lack of evidence to support the tax verdict and that the verdict and the subsequent decisions of the higher courts on appeal were substantively and procedurally in error under the laws of Mongolia. The company believed that it could seek to resolve the dispute amicably with the Mongolian authorities, and was engaging authorities. 
Should the verdict be enforced, it could result in an event of default under the China Investment Corporation (CIC) convertible debenture and CIC would have the right to declare the full principal and accrued interest owing thereunder immediately due and payable. 
CIC had in July agreed to defer an interest payment of $7.9-million for a second time to November 19, to allow the company to execute a funding plan. 
SouthGobi, together with its new strategic partner and significant shareholder, Novel Sunrise, had developed a funding plan in order to pay the interest due under the CIC convertible debenture, meet the company's obligations as they fell due and achieve its business objectives in 2015 and beyond. However, there was no guarantee that the company would be able to implement the proposed funding plan or secure other sources of financing. 
“Such an event of default under the CIC convertible debenture or the company's inability to pay the penalty could result in voluntary or involuntary proceedings involving the company (including bankruptcy),” SouthGobi said.
A deal that would have allowed Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources to sell its remaining stake in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources, a company that was once worth billions of dollars, had fallen through in May. 
The slower Chinese economy, falling coal prices, accounting problems and funding troubles had hit SouthGobi hard over the past several quarters. 
For the three months ended June, the company sold 190 000 t of its coal products after the resuming mining operations on March 30, and had since then produced 620 000 t of coal from its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine. The company had hoped that the stockpile would help it capture new offtake contracts, as well as catering for existing obligations. 
SouthGobi was once worth more than C$3-billion, and its TSX-listed shares peaked at C$21.99 in 2008. The stock fell as low as C$0.34 in February, and was trading at C$0.50 a share on Friday. 


Mongolian President should veto new law granting amnesty for corruption says TI and TI Mongolia

The President of Mongolia should veto a new law granting amnesty for those under investigation for corruption, said Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement and Transparency International Mongolia, its chapter in Mongolia.
The law was passed in a closed door session of the parliament on 11 August without the presence of the opposition parties. Unless president blocks law within 5 working days and 26 MPs accept this, law will come into force.
Currently 45 out of the 55 cases that the Independent Agency against Corruption in Mongolia (IAAC) is investigating would be terminated and amnesty granted to the accused. The alleged crimes involve more than 32 billion Mongolian Tugrik (US$16.2 million).
The former President N. Enkhbayar, former Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag and others who were under investigation by IAAC, pushed for this new law which also clears criminal records allowing them to continue their political careers.
Parliament speaker Z. Enkhbold supported this controversial law.  The former Prime minister is also proposing a law to dismantle the IAAC.
Transparency International-Secretariat and Transparency International Mongolia strongly condemn such actions. “There should be no impunity for the abuse of power; the corrupt must be held to account,” said Srirak Plipat, Regional Director for Asia Pacific for Transparency International.
“Politicians should not abuse their power to escape justice. Corruption must not pay and it is time we no longer tolerate impunity for the corrupt. We will politically and socially sanction the corrupt,” said L. Tur-OD, chair of TI Mongolia.
This new law if approved will undermine the authority of the IAAC.
In May 2015, Transparency International Mongolia signed a memorandum with the IAAC to work constructively with the IAAC to push for improvements, monitor its performance and advocate for a more enabling environment.
Press contact(s):
Batbayar Ochirbat
Transparency International Mongolia 
Room 1
Zorig San Building 
Peace Avenue 17
Ulaanbaatar 210646

Potato Prices in Mongolia increased 21% in the last three weeks

Average price for potatoes in Mongolia increased by nearly 21% over the last three weeks, Mongolian News Agency GoGo reports. 

A rise in potato prices is not uncommon in Mongolia at the end of July and in early August as at this time sales of the new potato crop starts. Planting for the current potato crop in Mongolia started late due to continuous precipitation and cold weather in June and July. Furthermore, hot weather in June and July affected crop growth and maturity. 

Particularly, prices for new crop potatoes rose by 60% compared to the previous month, and now range from 1,800 to 2,000 MNT ($1.01) per a kilogram. For comparison, prices for new crop of potatoes stood at 1,300 MNT ($0.66) last year.


S. Korea, Mongolia hold working-level defense talks

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Mongolia held working-level defense talks in Ulaanbaatar Monday to discuss regional security issues, including North Korea's nuclear weapons program, the Defense Ministry said.
The ministry said that Yoon Soon-ku, the ministry's director general on international policy, met with his Mongolian counterpart, Zagdsuren Boldbaatar, in Mongolia's capital to discuss a follow-up to a meeting between their defense chiefs held in May last year and how to enhance defense cooperation.
Yoon also plans to fly to Uzbekistan to hold similar working-level talks with his counterpart Wednesday, it added.
"This series of defense talks will serve as an occasion to deepen cooperation with Mongolia and Uzbekistan," a ministry official said.

Mongolian Premier Replaces Cupboard Members Amid Instability Worries

ULAN BATOR (Reuters) – Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg has changed six members of his cupboard, a change the president stated might harm an already limping financial system and additional deter overseas buyers frightened about political stability.
Mongolia has promised to make use of its huge untapped mineral reserves to develop its tiny, landlocked financial system, however flagship tasks have been delayed and overseas funding deterred by political disputes and regulatory uncertainties.
Parliament endorsed the prime minister’s proposal to take away the Mongolian Individuals’s Social gathering (MPP) from the coalition authorities on Friday, which means the get together’s six cupboard members misplaced their jobs.
Saikhanbileg, a member of the Mongolian Democratic Get together, was appointed final yr with a mission to rejuvenate the flagging financial system by means of overseas funding within the mining sector, and can retain his place as prime minister.
“(The) vote got here after heated debates within the legislature with ‘no love misplaced’ between MPs from main events,” stated Dale Choi, head of the analysis agency Mongolia Metals & Mining, in an e-mail to subscribers concerning the vote to take away the MPP.
The coalition was initially anticipated to final till July 2016 parliamentary elections and its early dissolution threatens to disrupt parliamentary selections on quite a lot of profitable mining tasks.
The Toronto-listed Centerra Gold Inc. is awaiting a choice from parliament on the stake measurement the federal government will take within the Gatsuurt gold mine it hopes to place into manufacturing.
Parliament should additionally should vote on a proposed funding settlement with a personal consortium led by China’s Shenhua Power to develop and mine the large Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.
Mongolia’s improvement plans had already been delayed because of a two-year dispute with international miner Rio Tinto over the enlargement of the $6.5 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which was lastly settled in Might.
This week, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, who can also be a Democratic Social gathering member, weighed in with a letter condemning the proposed plan to take away the MPP, saying it threatened to “destabilize” the federal government.
That, in flip, might mirror poorly on the financial system, he stated.
“It may well trigger destructive influence on society, the financial system and the nation’s fame within the worldwide area,” he wrote.


Mongolia coalition on the rocks after six ministers axed

Mongolia’s governing “super coalition” is on the rocks following the forced resignation from the cabinet of six ministers belonging to the Mongolian People’s party.
The ministers, including the deputy prime minister, resigned following a parlimentary bill to discharge them that was introduced by Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed of the Democratic party, and passed late on Thursday evening.

A break-up of the super coalition, which includes almost all of the country’s 76 members of parliament, would free the two major parties to campaign ahead of national elections next year.
It follows almost a year of political truce between the Democratic party and the MPP, allowing the government to try to put the economy in order amidst a downturn in foreign investment and the prices for copper and coal, Mongolia’s chief exports.
In May, Mongolia agreed with international miner Rio Tinto on the second, $5bn underground phase of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine — a move seen as necessary for paying off or possibly refinancing international debt.
“There was a clear intention to dissolve the coalition at some point prior to the election campaign,” said Julian Dierkes, a specialist in Mongolian politics and civil society at the University of British Columbia.
“Clearly, the Oyu Tolgoi announcement in May has meant that in some people’s eyes, this super coalition has done what it was formed to do, ie, get Oyu Tolgoi back on track. That removes the need for such a coalition which makes an election campaign difficult when there are already limited policy differences between the dominant parties,” he said.
The first rumbles of a split in the coalition came during the visit of Prime Minister Saikhanbileg to London a month ago. That visit was designed to drum up a positive view of Mongolia in the international financial community and counter years of griping by foreign mining investors.
The break-up is likely to further delay international investment into the $5bn Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit, the other big mining project deemed critical to Mongolian state coffers.
Unlike Oyu Tolgoi — a discrete deposit with a single operator and controlling investor — Tavan Tolgoi is subdivided into a mess of claims, operators and complex ownership structures involving both the Mongolian state and wealthy individuals. A portion of it has been tendered to foreign investors, but bidders led by China’s Shenhua Group and Sumitomo of Japan have yet to sign a final deal.
Mr Saikhanbileg’s push to force out the ministers was not supported by the country’s president, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, also of the Democratic party, who argued it could lead to further political instability and harm the country’s international reputation.

Source:Financial Times


Mongolia's second-largest party booted from coalition

Mongolia's prime minister ousted a key component of his ruling coalition government on Thursday just eight months after it was formed, amid political manoeuvering ahead of parliamentary elections next year.
Lawmakers approved a motion submitted by Prime Minister Chimediin Saikhanbileg of the Democratic Party (DP) to kick out six cabinet ministers from the Mongolian People's Party (MPP).
Almost all of the 46 members who participated in the vote out of the 76-member Great Hural, or parliament, backed the motion amid a boycott by the MPP.
Parliament speaker Zandaakhuugiin Enkhbold declared the decision immediately valid.
Mongolia, a landlocked country between Russia and China rich in gold, copper, coal and other resources, saw its economic growth soar to a high of a stunning 17.5 percent in 2011.
But that has slowed sharply since, dragged down by political squabbling over the role of foreign investment and a slump in global commodity prices.
Coalition break-ups ahead of elections are common in Mongolia, for decades a tightly controlled satellite of the former Soviet Union which shook off communism a quarter century ago.
From 2008 to 2012 the DP and MPP also formed a coalition government, but the DP puled its ministers five months before the last vote in July 2012. The next elections are expected in the middle of next year.
A "super coalition" of 19 ministers from Mongolia's four main political parties was formed in December in a bid to address the country's faltering economy.
Saikhanbileg's DP, Mongolia's largest party with 35 seats, controls 10 portfolios in the cabinet. Besides the six positions held by the MPP -- the second-biggest member of the legislature with 26 members -- the other three are divided between two smaller parties.
Among those sacked Thursday included Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, deputy prime minister, and finance minister Jargaltulgiin Erdenebat.
It was not immediately clear who would replace the MPP ministers, though Saikhanbileg -- who has been pushing foreign investment friendly policies since becoming premier last year -- appeared set to continue as prime minister.
The DP last month called on Saikhanbileg to expel the MPP from the coalition, claiming the party was uncooperative and abusing its ministerial powers.
Sandagiin Byambatsogt, the MPP's parliamentary chief, in a statement ahead of Thursday's proceedings blasted the DP for "playing a game" with the country's governance by putting internal party priorities ahead of the country.
Political scientist Erdenebileg Gerelt-Od said that by kicking out the MPP, the DP is gambling that it can reap an electoral bonanza.
"What the DP is trying to do is to make it seem that they are the sole party that brought about positive change if the economy improves," he told AFP.

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