Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Here's something interesting. Below is a list of our Prime Ministers democratically or otherwise elected into government since the first 1992 election and what befell them.
  1. P. Jasrai (late) [MPRP] 1992 - 1996
    The former deputy PM under the Communist government, he was elected into office during the first election.
  2. M.Enkhsaikhan [DP] July,1996 - Apr,1998
    First PM to never have been a member of the MPRP under the communist rule. Forced to resign by the DP and the Social Democrats due to slow reforms. Ran for Presidency in 2005 against the current president M.Enkhbayar and lost. No longer a member of the DP, he now heads the Democratic Justice Party and is running for election.
  3. Ts. Elbegdorj, 1st time [DP] Apr,1998 - Dec,1998
    His first term was as the youngest PM of Mongolia at the age of 35. In his brief time as PM, he introduced legislations which gave greater freedom to the press. Forced to resign in Dec, 1998 by the Parliament, over banking regulations which resulted in a bank (I forget which, I think it was called the Development Bank of Asia (not the ADB, but a local Mongolian bank) declare bankruptcy. Current chairman of the DP.
  4. J.Narantsatsralt(late) [DP] Dec,1998 - July,1999
    Then-mayor of Ulaanbaatar, nominated to PM seat and given the seal of approval by the President. Resigned as a result of a controversial letter to the deputy PM of Russia over the privatization of a Russian-Mongolian copper-molybdenum ore mine in Erdenet.
    N.Tuyaa (acting) [DP] 22 July 1999 - 30 July 1999
  5. R. Amarjargal [DP] July, 1999 - July, 2000
    Served as the Foreign Minister in Narantsatsralt's cabinet. Current MP.
  6. N.Enkhbayar [MPRP] 2000 - 2004
    Current president of Mongolia since 2005. His government was criticized for its rampant corruption. Was also the key figure in a debt settlement to Russia of USD250 million. Allegations of corruption surrounding the deal abound.
  7. Ts.Elbegdorj, 2nd time [DP] Aug, 2004 - Jan, 2006
    His government collapsed as a result of M.Enkhsaikhan (a former PM) defecting to the MPRP, giving them the required majority in the coalition to form a new government. M.Enkhsaikhan was voted out of the DP for his maneuvers. He would be given deputy PM under M.Enkhbold's short-lived MPRP government.
  8. M.Enkhbold [MPRP] Jan, 2006 - Nov, 2007
    Removed from his position as the MPRP chairman, and as, by law, the chairman of the majority party holds the PM seat, resigned from his PM position. Is the deputy PM under S.Bayar's administration.
  9. S.Bayar [MPRP] 22 Nov, 2007 - present
So here's the problem. No DP Prime Minister has ever served a full term in office. And almost all of the MPRP PM's have been allowed to finish out their terms in office, regardless of public protests and allegations of corruption, except for Enkhbold's government which was likely due to internal party politics. But apart from this little maneuver, you could say that the MPRP has been more or less unified. You could also say that the MPRP political sabotages were behind the collapse of so many DP-led governments. It all depends on how you look at it. An example would be then-DP MP Enkhsaikhan's defection to the MPRP which caused the collapse of Elbegdorj's coalition government.

Give the man a break now. Twice he was the PM, and both times he was forced to resign. I am all (ok, some) for Elbegdorj, and I hope the DP win this election and he finally gets to serve a full term as PM. Because, I for one, think he deserves a chance to implement the changes he had promised us twice and had not been given the time to carry out: the promise to target and eradicate the systemic corruption in government. That is, without undoing all that S.Bayar has accomplished in the last 7 months as the PM, such as the proposed changes to the minerals law and tighter control on national assets.
Because, as much as I think MPRP is a party rotten to its core with corruption and political back-stabbing, S.Bayar is one of the strongest leader figures we have seen in the past two decades. If he were the leader of any other political party, the Green Party of Mongolia for that matter, I would gladly campaign to elect him into office as would many other people (but then he'd never have become the PM and we would not know him). Unfortunately for S.Bayar's hopes for another term and perhaps for us too, he comes with much unwanted baggage.