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Politics of Mongolia

Until 1990, the Mongolian Government was modeled on the Soviet system; only the communism party--the MPRP[?]--officially was permitted to function. After some instability during the first two decades of communist rule in Mongolia, there was no significant popular unrest until December 1989. Collectivization of animal husbandry, introduction of agriculture, and the extension of fixed abodes were all carried out without perceptible popular opposition.

The birth of perestroika in the former Soviet Union and the democracy movement in eastern Europe were mirrored in Mongolia. The dramatic shift toward reform started in early 1990 when the first organized opposition group, the Mongolian Democratic Union[?], appeared. In the face of extended street protests in subzero weather and popular demands for faster reform, the politburo of the MPRP resigned in March 1990. In May, the constitution was amended, deleting reference to the MPRP's role as the guiding force in the country, legalizing opposition parties, creating a standing legislative body, and establishing the office of president.

Mongolia's first multi-party elections for a People's Great Hural were held on July 29, 1990. The MPRP won 85% of the seats. The People's Great Hural first met on September 3 and elected a president (MPRP), vice president (SDP--Social Democrats), prime minister (MPRP), and 50 members to the Baga Hural (small Hural). The vice president also was chairman of the Baga Hural. In November 1991, the People's Great Hural began discussion on a new constitution, which entered into force February 12. In addition to establishing Mongolia as an independent, sovereign republic and guaranteeing a number of rights and freedoms, the new constitution restructured the legislative branch of government, creating a unicameral legislature, the State Great Hural[?] (SGH).

The 1992 constitution provided that the president would be elected by popular vote rather than by the legislature as before. In June 1993, incumbent Punsalmaagiyn Ochirbat won the first popular presidential election running as the candidate of the democratic opposition.

As the supreme government organ, the SGH is empowered to enact and amend laws, determine domestic and foreign policy, ratify international agreements, and declare a state of emergency. The SGH meets semiannually. SGH members elect a chairman and vice chairman who serve 4-year terms. SGH members are popularly elected by district for 4-year terms.

The president is the head of state, commander in chief of the armed forces, and head of the national security council. He is popularly elected by a national majority for a 4-year term and limited to two terms. The constitution empowers the president to propose a prime minister, call for the government's dissolution, initiate legislation, veto all or parts of legislation (the SGH can override the veto with a two-thirds majority), and issue decrees, which become effective with the prime minister's signature. In the absence, incapacity, or resignation of the president, the SGH chairman exercises presidential power until inauguration of a newly elected president.

The government, headed by the prime minister, has a 4-year term. The prime minister is nominated by the president and confirmed by the SGH. The prime minister chooses a cabinet, subject to SGH approval. Dissolution of the government occurs upon the prime minister's resignation, simultaneous resignation of half the cabinet, or after an SGH vote for dissolution.

Local hurals are elected by the 18 aimags (provinces) plus the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and cities of Darhan[?] and Erdenet[?]. On the next lower administrative level, they are elected by provincial subdivisions and urban subdistricts in Ulaanbaatar and the municipalities, Darhan and Erdenet.

Legal System
The new constitution empowered a General Council of Courts (GCC) to select all judges and protect their rights. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body. Justices are nominated by the GCC and confirmed by the SGH and president. The court is constitutionally empowered to examine all lower court decisions--excluding specialized court rulings--upon appeal and provide official interpretations on all laws except the constitution.

Specialized civil, criminal, and administrative courts exist at all levels and are not subject to Supreme Court supervision. Local authorities--district and city governors--ensure that these courts abide by presidential decrees and SGH decisions. At the apex of the judicial system is the Constitutional Court[?], which consists of nine members, including a chairman, appointed for 6-year terms, whose jurisdiction extends solely over the interpretation of the constitution.

Government Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local long form: none
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia

Data code: MG

Government type: republic

Capital: Ulaanbaatar

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 3 municipalities* (hotuud, singular - hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan*, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan, Erdenet*, Govi-Altay, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs

Independence: 13 March 1921 (from China)

National holiday: National Day, 11 July (1921)

Constitution: 12 February 1992

Legal system: blend of Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Western systems of law that combines aspects of a parliamentary and presidential system; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Natsagiyn BAGABANDI (since 20 June 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Rinchinnyamin AMARJARGAL (since 30 August 1999)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the State Great Hural in consultation with the president
elections: president nominated by parties in the State Great Hural and elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 18 May 1997 (next to be held summer 2001); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the State Great Hural; election last held 30 August 1999 (next to be held NA)
election results: Natsagiyn BAGABANDI elected president; percent of vote - Natsagiyn BAGABANDI (MPRP) 60.8%, Punsalmaagiyn OCHIRBAT (MNDP and MSDP) 29.8%, Jambyn GOMBOJAV 6.6%; Rinchinnyamin AMARJARGAL elected prime minister by a vote in the State Great Hural of 50 to 2

Legislative branch: unicameral State Great Hural (76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 30 June 1996 (next to be held NA June 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - DUC 66%, MPRP 33%, MCP 1%; seats by party - DUC 50 (MNDP 34, MSDP 13, independents 3), MPRP 25, MCP 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, serves as appeals court for people's and provincial courts, but to date rarely overturns verdicts of lower courts, judges are nominated by the General Council of Courts for approval by the State Great Hural

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Union Coalition or DUC (includes the MNDP and the MSDP); Independence Party [leader NA]; Mongolian Conservative Party or MCP [JARGALSAIHAN]; Mongolian Democratic New Socialist Party or MDNSP [B. ERDENEBAT, chairman]; Mongolian Democratic Renaissance Party or MDRP [BYAMBASUREN, chairman]; Mongolian National Democratic Party or MNDP [R. AMARJARGAL, chairman; B. DELGERMAA, general secretary]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [N. ENKHBAYAR, chairman; L. ENEBISH, general secretary]; Mongolian Republican Party or MRP [B. JARGALSAIHAN]; Mongolian Social Democratic Party or MSDP [Radnaasumbereliyn GONCHIGDORJ, chairman; N. ALTANKHUYAG, general secretary]; Mongolian United Heritage Party or UHP [B. JAMTSAI] (includes the United Party of Herdsman and Farmers, Independence Party, Traditional United Conservative Party, and Mongolian United Private Property Owners Party); Mongolian United Private Property Owners Party [leader NA]); United Party of Herdsman and Farmers [leader NA]; Traditional United Conservative Party [leader NA]; Workers' Party [leader NA]

International organization participation: AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CCC, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Flag description: three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), blue, and red; centered on the hoist-side red band in yellow is the national emblem ("soyombo" - a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representation for fire, sun, moon, earth, water, and the yin-yang symbol)

See also : Mongolia



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