NB: Archived page 22 May, 2011

As should be clear from reading this page,this is no longer updated. I hope (vaguely, and not very realistically) to update it at some future time, but for the foreseeable future, other projects and research command too much of my time to make updating this page a realistic option. I leave it here for historical interest and reference.

One of the first things that needs to be understood about Mongolian politics (especially in terms of the proliferation of political parties) is that it is largely driven by individuals or personalities. While I'm sure that most (if not all!) of Mongolian politicians would vehemently deny this, the differences in ideologies and positions between the different parties is not as radical as they would like you to think. This explains in large part the proliferation of parties - when people can't agree, they are just as likely to go off and form their own party as work for change within an existing one.

Largely as a result of this, there are now at least twenty parties registered in Mongolia. The newspaper Ödriin Sonin (Daily News), in a April 2004 article, gave a list of twenty, which I reproduce below. And this list does not include a Women's Party whose existence was announced around the same time. This proliferation of parties does not mean, however, that all 20 are very important or even very noticeable. Several of them have names that have significant historical connotations or other things that are interesting about them. Perhaps I'll do an essay on this one of these days.

Before presenting the list, therefore, I offer a brief overview of the dominant parties and coalitions in Mongolian politics today.

NB: Please note that some of the positions ascribed to people below is no longer current (as of Feb. 2006) and the Motherland - Democracy Coalition collapsed some time ago. I leave this here since the other information is still useful, and I'd rather leave this up until I get a chance to correct than have nothing here. I hope to be able to get to this relatively soon, but have more pressing work-related things that need taking care of.

Key political parties

MAHN (the MPRP) The Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (Mongol Ardyn Huv'sgalt Nam -- ) was the ruling party during the socialist period. It has been and continues to be heavily criticized by the democratic parties, but it maintains a strong base in the more conservative countryside. In the Ih Hural elected in 1996, they won 25 seats, a stunning defeat after holding the vast majority of seats in the Ih Hural from 1992 to 1996. However in the 2000 elections, they retook the Ih Hural with 72 seats. They currently control about half of the Ih Hural, and N. Enhbayar, the former Prime Minister, is the Speaker of the Ih Hural.

The party is one of the more united ones in Mongolia, but there are at least two major factions within it, headed by N. Enhbayar and N. Bagabandi, the President. Bagabandi's faction is usually described as more conservative, but in fact it was Bagabandi who largely sided with the Motherland - Democracy Coalition in the mess that was the 2004 Ih Hural elections, calling for everyone, including his own party (and by implication, Enhbayar) to respect the will of the voters.

The Motherland - Democracy Coalition - (Eh Oron - Ardchilsan Evsel; - ) Currently the other dominant player in Mongolian politics. This is a coalition formed of Eh Oron (Motherland - itself a coalition of the Mongolian Democratic New Socialist Party and the Mongolian Workers Party) and the Democratic Party. They were joined in the 2004 Ih Hural elections by the Civic Will - Republican Party. The Coalition was formed in 2003 largely (one presumes) to bring about some order and unity to the non-MAHN parties, who did themselves no favors in the 2000 Ih Hural election by fielding as many as 8 candidates in various districts, thus splitting the vote and helping ensure MAHN's 72 seat dominance.

In the Coalition, the main parties are:

The Democratic Party - (Ardchilsan Nam - ) is a result of the union of the Mongolian National Democratic Party (Y - Y ; Mongolyn Ündesnii Ardchilsan Nam) and the Mongolian Social Democratic Party (MSDN - ; Mongolyn Sotsial Demokrat Nam) in December 2000. The Mongolian National Democratic Party was actually formed from a number of other parties in the early 1990s. Some of the early parties that formed the National Democratic Party were originally formed during the democratic revolution of 1990, as was the MSDN. The two parties that formed the Democratic Party were the ruling coalition from 1996-2000, when they held 50 of the 76 seats in the Ih Hural.

The Civic Will Party - (Irgenii Zorig Nam - - sometimes translated as the Civic Courage Party) was founded in March 2000, by S. Oyun, an MP and sister of the slain S. Zorig, the "father" of the democratic revolution in Mongolia (to the extent that there was a single leader). It later combined with the Republican Party and thus technically became the Civil Will - Republican Party.

Eh Oron -( - Motherland) was founded in the spring of 1999. It was founded and bankrolled by B. Erdenebat, a wealthy businessman who runs the Erel congomlerate. (So it has been at times referred to as the "Erel Party.")

The Republican Party - (v - Bügd Nairamdah Nam) was founded and is headed by Jargalsaikhan (known as Buyant Jargalsaikhan, after the cashmere company he heads). The Republican Party, which had merged with the Civic Will Party (and so for a time it was the Civic Will Republican Party) for the 2001 Presidential election split back off just before the 2004 Ih Hural elections and fielded their own candidates. There was (of course) some dispute whether all this was technically legal.

Ödriin Sonin's list (in the order they gave it)

Where a party is discussed above, I haven't bothered translating their name here. I give the name in transcribed Mongolian, Mongolian, and then, when necessary, translated. A

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