Current Affairs

The new Government takes office

Former PM Erdenebat handing over the Government seal to Khürelsükh

The Parliament of Mongolia elected Ukhnaa Khürelsükh as the new 30th Prime Minister on 4 October.
The previous government of Prime Minister J. Erdenebat of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) was forced out of office by 30 Members of Parliament from the same party who were unhappy with the performance of his Cabinet for corruption, going against election promises and for inefficiency.
The Mongolian People’s Party made a sweeping comeback in the parliamentary election in June 2016 winning 65 of the 76 seats in the Parliament. With such an overwhelming majority and the opposition decimated and content with only 9 seats in the Parliament, there was popular belief that Erdenebat’s Government would serve the full 4-year-term. But that was not fated to happen. The loss of the MPP Chairman and incumbent Parliament Speaker Miyegombo Enkhbold in the July 2017 Presidential election sparked off a ‘revolt’ within the party which not only put an end to the Erdenebat Government but also the loss of the strong Ulaanbaatar City’s Local Assembly Chairmanship.
U. Khürelsükh’s political origin is in the MPP’s youth organization and enjoys personal popularity especially among the younger ‘cadres’ in the party, who initiated the resignation of the previous Government.
Prime Minister Khürelsükh, who is not a Member of Parliament, against all odds and opposition by the Democratic Party in the Party, has 15 Cabinet members wearing a “double del” as the term goes for MP concurrently holding cabinet posts. Does this improve the Prime Minister’s chances for a long-lived spell in government and thus stability or not? Only time will tell.
D. Erdenebat, an MP and chairman of the opposition Parliamentary Democratic Party Caucus, even lamented that a government based on bargains instead of a government of policy, was in the making.
Commentators note that a cabinet built around a purely political compromise is unlikely to make the radical decisions that will give the public service some much needed independence and stability. Instead, bureaucrats and Mongolians who have to deal with the public service, are likely bracing for another round of personnel rotations.
Whatever the case, Khürelsükh’s Government appears to be determined to set things aright and move forward.
“Our Government, first and foremost, will give priority to improving discipline, order and accountability in the government service,” said the Prime Minister when he brought together for an extended Cabinet meeting, immediately after his Ministers were endorsed.
He said that from this time onward he would be tough in his demands so that the civil servants at all levels of government service, must uphold the principle of justice, rule of law and most important high level of ethical morality.
The Prime Minister drew the attention of all the top central and local government officials to the “difficult times ahead,” especially the coming of winter which he said, “must be overcome with the least possible losses.”
The economy is picking up but all its woes are not yet over, however international financial institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to resume its cooperation with Mongolia. The country’s foreign debt stands at 25.2 billion U.S. dollars. The government is due to pay back 500 million dollars in January 2018.
Prime Minister Khürelsükh, in his first meeting with Neil Saker, IMF resident representative, said he will continue cooperation with the IMF.

Leave a Comment