Mongolia. According to
Countryaah, Mongolia experienced its second severe winter
in a row. More than half a million livestock died as the
temperature dropped to −50 ～ C and the pastures were covered
by snow depth. The winter weather caused major problems for
the supply of food and medicines. Livestock deaths were a
severe blow to an already strained economy.
The International Monetary Fund gave Mongolia access to
cheap loans of nearly $ 40 million over the next three years
to stimulate growth and alleviate poverty.
In May, President Natsagijn Bagabandi was re-elected with
58% of the vote. The former Communist has won respect in aid
circles for his determination to implement economic reforms.
Domestic violence against women is a growing problem. It
is estimated that 10-24% of murders in Mongolia occur at
home. In 1998, killing of women accounted for 8% of all
homicides. This figure had risen to 17% in 2001. More than
60% of domestic abuse is caused by alcoholism.
In 2001, the government set up a human rights center
linked to the prison service. By 1999 alone, 200 prisoners
had died in the prisons. In the first year alone, 180 prison
staff received tuition at the center. The Constitution
prohibits torture, degrading treatment or punishment, and
although reports of such abuses have decreased in number,
the number of reports of unnecessary violence against
prisoners has remained unchanged - especially in rural
areas. In 2002, the Prison Service installed cameras in 11
of the 17 state prisons, which helped reduce prison staff
In November 2002, more than 50 Democratic Party members
were arrested while demonstrating for privatization of the
land. The Privatization Act came into force in May 2003.
In January, after two years of negotiations, a new labor
market policy was introduced that allowed Mongols to seek
employment in Taiwan. Out of the 7,000 Mongolian workers,
3,000 had entered through the new program.
In August 2004, the Great Hural (Parliament) appointed
Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj as prime minister.
The May 2005 presidential election was won by Nambaryn
Enkhbayar of the People's Revolutionary Party with 53.4%
of the vote, followed by Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan of the
Democratic Party who got 20% of the vote.
In November 2005, George W. Bush became the first North
American president to visit Mongolia. During his meeting
with Enkhbayar, Bush thanked Mongolia for its support for
the invasion of Iraq and for its deployment of a contingent
of 100 soldiers there.
The Revolutionary People's Party dissolved the government
coalition in January 2006 and continued to govern with the
support of two smaller parties. At the same time, Miyeegombo
Enkhbold from the People's Party was appointed as new Prime
Minister. The opposition criticized the People's Party for
creating a political crisis aimed at stopping the corruption
investigations the coalition had otherwise initiated.
In May, the small parties demonstrated the Movement for a
Healthy Society, the Greens, the People's Party and the
Civil Liberties Party in front of the government building in
protest of the composition of the new electoral commission,
which consisted only of representatives of the government
party and the largest opposition party. The protesters
shouted slogans like: "Did the People's Party really win the
election in 2004?" and "The People's Party must drop its