Prime Minister of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg issued an ordinance to assign six MPs to the position of acting minister until the appointment of new ministers replacing the outgoing members of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) is finalized.
The Premier has assigned Justice Minister D.Dorligjav to the position of Acting Deputy Prime Minister; Foreign Affairs Minister L.Purevsuren as Acting Minister of Nature Environment, Green Development and Tourism; Minister of the State of Mongolia and Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt as Acting Finance Minister; Mining Minister R.Jigjid as Acting Construction and Urban Development Minister; Industry Minister D.Erdenebat as Acting Minister of Roads and Transportation Ministry; and assigned the duties of Acting Labor Minister to S.Erdene, the Minister of Population Development and Social Protection.
Ch.Saikhanbileg required that the newly appointed acting ministers execute and be in charge of their roles under relevant laws and regulations until the appointment of new ministers.
During its irregular session meeting of August 6, parliamentary members agreed to discharge six MPP ministers from Cabinet, with support from the standing committees of Parliament.
Over the past week, Mongolia’s political situation was not only the focal point of the country’s top headlines, but it also was featured in leading international media outlets. Global Post commented on the situation, stating, “Coalition break-ups ahead of elections are common in Mongolia, for decades a tightly controlled satellite of the former Soviet Union which shook off communism a quarter century ago.” Meanwhile, Reuters highlighted the response to the change from President Ts.Elbegdorj, “a change the president said could hurt an already limping economy and further deter foreign investors worried about political stability.”
Financial Times speculates that the break-up of the coalition is likely to further delay international investment in the 5 billion USD Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit, a mega-project deemed critical to state coffers. “There was a clear intention to dissolve the coalition at some point prior to the election campaign,” Julian Dierkes, a specialist in Mongolian politics and civil society at the University of British Columbia, told Financial Times.
“Clearly, the Oyu Tolgoi announcement in May has meant that in some people’s eyes, this super coalition has done what it was formed to do, ie, get Oyu Tolgoi back on track,” Dierkes explained. “That removes the need for such a coalition which makes an election campaign difficult when there are already limited policy differences between the dominant parties.”
According to rumors at the State Palace, the following MPs and members of government are most likely to be appointed to the empty positions in the Cabinet:
Minister of Finance – R.Amarjargal or B.Garamgaibaatar
Minister of Construction and Urban Development – G.Bayarsaikhan or N.Battsereg
Deputy Prime Minister – Ch.Ulaan or E.Batshugar
Minister of Nature Environment, Green Development and Tourism – L.Erdenechimeg or S.Oyun
Minister of Roads and Transportation – Advisor to the Speaker A.Gansukh
Labor Minister – S.Ganbaatar or Z.Bayanselenge