Mongolia. According to
Countryaah reports, the parliamentary elections at the end of June
led to severe unrest in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, when
supporters of the bourgeois opposition claimed that there
had been cheating. Five people were killed and over 300
injured, including hundreds of police officers, in clashes
between protesters and riot police. The ex-communist
victorious party MPRP's headquarters was burned down and the
city's cultural palace was also set on fire.
The opposition's demand that the voting bill be redone
was rejected, and the many deaths led to the parties trying
to put the dispute aside. The election results were set, as
in four disputed terms, and resulted in a clear 44-seat MPRP
(Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party) victory, ahead of
the opposition Democratic Party with 26 seats in parliament.
As a conciliatory gesture, the MPRP decided to include the
Democratic Party in the government.
In May 1997, Natsagiyn Bagabandi of the Mongolian
Revolutionary People's Party won the presidential election
by 60.8% of the vote. AD candidate, Punsalmaagiyn Otchirbat
got only 29.8% of the vote. The result was interpreted as a
punishment aimed at the government's "shock therapy"
implemented to ensure a swift transition to market economy.
The FAO estimated that in 1998, Mongolia needed 90,000
tonnes of food aid to solve the food crisis that threatened
to trigger general famine.
In June 1998, a new law was passed requiring the use of
surname in all valid documents. The law was a response to
the demand for modernization and greater integration with
the rest of the world, but at the same time triggered
confusion and anxiety in the population. For centuries, the
majority of the population have lived as nomads in small
communities where the last name did not matter.
Lack of ability to curb the economic crisis and fierce
criticism forced the government to resign at the end of
1998. It was replaced by a new government led by Janlaviin
Narantsatsralt. Seven months later, in July 1999,
Narantsatsralt and his 10 ministers also resigned. This was
due to disagreements over the privatization of a copper mine
that Mongolia owned jointly with Russia. Parliament
appointed economist Rinchinnyamiin Amarjargal as new prime
In January 2000, a number of NGOs released a report
estimating the number of street children in the country at
4,000 - of which 3,000 in the capital. Acc. the National
Children's Council in 1992 - when the country abandoned the
Soviet model - there were 300 street children in the
country. The closure of factories and other workplaces had
increased urban poverty, and in addition rural poverty. Acc.
the traditional Mongol nomadic family pattern sends one or
more children to the city when it can no longer feed
everyone in the countryside. This system has worked for
centuries, but is now broken down because family members in
the cities no longer have the profits to take care of the
children whose illnesses are exacerbated by the severe
winters. Ulan Bator is the world's coldest capital.
Living conditions for the entire population deteriorated
seriously in the winter of 2000, the coldest in 55 years.
The government declared half of the country to be a disaster
area. Over 2 million cattle died, which equates to $ 1.65
billion. US $.
The July 2000 parliamentary elections were won by PPRM,
who got 72 seats out of 76.
The winter of 2001 was even more severe than the year
before with heavy snowstorms and temperatures below 50 ° C.
6 million pieces of cattle died from the cold. Both China,
the International Red Cross and the United Nations called
for international assistance to most affected 75,000
families. Especially the thousands of nomads whose survival
is entirely dependent on their cattle.
In 2001, the IMF granted a three-year low-interest loan
of DKK 40 million. US $ to be used for social programs, the
fight against poverty and for economic growth.