Socialist International deplores violence following elections in Mongolia

8 July 2008

The Socialist International deplores the shocking violence that took place in Ulaanbaatar following the parliamentary elections held in Mongolia on 29 June 2008 leading to a declaration of a four-day state of emergency in the country for the first time in its democratic history.

This unjustifiable violence, which we unequivocally condemn, caused the death of five people, more than three hundred injured and considerable destruction, including the burning down of the headquarters of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, MPRP, and the national art gallery next door.

Those responsible for the violence included protesters associated with the opposition claiming electoral irregularities. However, teams of international observers from non-governmental organisations and foreign embassies in Ulaanbaatar, did not report significant anomalies and concluded that the elections were generally free and fair.

The Socialist International, which has closely followed political developments in Mongolia, including the holding of elections since the birth of democracy in that country in 1990, is entirely confident that the country’s legal system and electoral norms are fully equipped to respond to electoral disputes, allegations of irregularities or calls for recounts once the official results are announced. Any departure from the law or disregard of democratic procedures is totally unacceptable.

No one should be allowed to undermine the achievements of the new Mongolian democracy or the progress of its institutions. The Socialist International at this difficult moment expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the overwhelming majority of the Mongolian people who embrace democracy and with President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, a symbol of their democratic struggle, in all his efforts to restore calm to the nation. The International also conveys its full support for its member party, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, and Prime Minister Sanjaagiin Bayar as they move forward the agenda for economic progress, democracy and peace.