DP’s internal strife intensify

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Mongolia has a multi-party system. Therefore, we are not under one-party rule and are not excluded from the list of democracies. Many people support the Democratic Party (DP) because they believe that a well-developed, strong and democratic political party must participate in public affairs through its policies and actions. However, it seems that this trust and hope is not respected by the party.

Thirty years have passed since Mongolia’s transition to a multi-party system. On the surface, there are many parties, but in fact, for most of the last 30 years, only one party has dominated the political arena, while two parties took turns in power for only few years.

In recent years, DP has rarely come to power, but the party has never deteriorated as bad as the current level in the past. In any case, DP is widely recognized as one of the two largest parties in power. However, DP’s defeat in the last two elections allowed the Mongolian People’s Party to govern Mongolia for eight years.

Unfortunately, DP is deteriorating and it is now uncertain whether it still has a future. It is not a new phenomenon for DP factions to quarrel with each other. But this time, recent events show that they have decided to “destroy” the party and remain at the bottom of the abyss.

LEADERS WITH AND WITHOUT SEAL

This time, the main political opposition, which is one of the guarantees of Mongolia’s democracy, is in a very difficult position. At the very least, it is unclear who is leading DP.

It is difficult to understand whether DP has two leaders, two party buildings, or whether there are no leaders or official seals.

They won a majority in the 2012 parliamentary election. However, in the 2016 parliamentary election, they suffered an absolute defeat. DP, a weakened opposition party that lost parliamentary and local elections in 2016 and just barely took enough seats to form a caucus in Parliament, blamed its leadership for its defeat.

The party members agreed that the reason for this defeat is lack of unity, inability to resolve factional conflicts, and disjointed activities of divided factions. It took almost two years to reform the party, and a series of meetings and internal
elections were held.

However, the situation worsened when S.Erdene became the party chairman after their 2016 defeat. He did not make any significant changes other than monetizing the parliamentary mandate. He said he would make a political party without factions, but he created it himself. Therefore, some key members of DP distanced from the party chair, so the party was weakened. As a result, DP, Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and United Citizens Coalition Party joined hands for the 2020 local election.

Some influential members left the party, openly declaring that they would not follow the decision of the party leadership. In short, DP’s internal affairs are not in order. The long-running reform process has not yielded any concrete results, and DP’s internal problems remain unresolved, escalating to a level that endangers the party’s future. This was the main reason they lost again in the 2020 parliamentary election.

S.Erdene admitted to his shortcomings and said, “I am taking responsibility for the defeat of DP and handing over the post of the party chair. Until the next chair is elected, Ts.Tuvaan will act as the party’s acting chair,” upon handing over the party’s seal on July 8, 2020.

Ts.Tuvaan, who received the seal from S.Erdene, initiated changes to the party’s general rule and announced a DP Congress. However, S.Erdene suddenly appeared and said, “Ts.Tuvaan has no right to chair the party. I am chairman of DP.” He had Ts.Tuvaan’s seal revoked. When S.Erdene submitted a request to the General Authority for State Registration (GASR) to revoke the seal and to make a new one for himself, he stated that DP’s general rule does not provide for an acting chair.

The inspector of the GASR accepted the request and allowed S.Erdene to get a new seal. After hearing that the party’s seal was revoked, Ts.Tuvaan filed a complaint with the GASR, but it did not accept it.

As a result, Ts.Tuvaan was selected as “chairman without a seal” and S.Erdene as “chairman with a seal.” Thus, it seems that two DPs have been formed, or the party exists only in name.

COURT WILL NOT SETTLE INTERNAL PARTY ISSUES

The Supreme Court, which is in charge of registering political parties, ruled that the party should resolve its internal issues by themselves. This means that the “fight” continues without a judge. Thus, the internal party divisions became even more distorted.

Shortly after, Ts.Tuvaan requested to register the amendments to the party rule passed during the party Congress on December 18, 2020, and to amend the state registration certificate, while S.Erdene submitted a request to register DP’s seal and seal control number, to make corrections to the party electronic registration, and to register himself as party chair to the Supreme Court. But the court refused to accept both requests. S.Erdene was denied registration as the party chair and Ts.Tuvaan’s name was removed from the electronic registration.

As a result, the name of the person authorized to represent DP in the electronic register of the Supreme Court was deleted, with both S.Erdene and Ts.Tuvaan deprived of the right to call themselves a party leader. The Supreme Court ordered DP to resolve the issue internally and go to court again, but this only led to further escalations.

On January 10, S.Erdene announced an extraordinary online meeting of National Policy Committee (NPC) of DP and relieved Ts.Tuvaan of his duty as acting chairman of the party.

Ts.Tuvaan did not give up either. Last Friday, the meeting of the DP General Rule Committee (GRC) was announced to discuss S.Erdene’s expulsion. During the meeting, a resolution, which states that Acting Chairman of DP Ts.Tuvaan was instructed to hold S.Erdene accountable for violating Articles 3.9.1.10 and 3.9.1.15 of the party rule, was passed. In accordance with the resolution, Ts.Tuvaan imposed a disciplinary action to expel S.Erdene from the party for eight years.

However, S.Erdene announced an irregular meeting of the NPC on Sunday, stating that until the next chair of DP is elected, he will serve as DP chairman. In addition, new deputy chairs were appointed and members of the GRC working under Ts.Tuvaan were dismissed during the meeting.

Ts.Tuvaan held a press briefing on February 1, saying, “Since S.Erdene was expelled from the party for eight years, he does not have the right to convene a meeting of the NPC. The GRC also ruled that the resolution to invalidate the seals and symbols of the DP committees of provinces, the capital city, soums and districts was unfounded.”

It is clear that their “show” will continue and “entertain” political observers. The people wonder why DP leadership doesn’t care about the reputation and interests of the party, which has a 200,000 members and supporters, with the presidential election due in four months. It is unfortunate that DP is being “destroyed” by two people, instead of focusing on becoming a strong opposition.

Misheel Lkhasuren

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