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Mongolia

Yearbook 2012

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.

2012 Mongolia

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 elections.

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The Democratic Party electorate had withdrawn from its government co-operation with the Mongolian People's Party before the election, and after the election, instead entered into negotiations with the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 appealed.

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.

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