Magazine article New Internationalist

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj

Magazine article New Internationalist

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj

Article excerpt

At the end of June, Democratic Party candidate Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj saw offa former wrestler to win re-election as president of the landlocked central Asian republic of Mongolia. Unlike many of the 'democratic' states that emerged from the post-1989 Soviet Union where power passed to former Communist apparatchiks, Mongolia has undergone an authentic transition.

Elbegdorj, a former journalist, was one of the leaders of the 1989 democratic movement, behind the initial demonstrations that led to a remarkably peaceful end to 73 years of Soviet-style rule.

His most recent victory with an outright majority paves the way for Elbegdorj to deal with the epidemic of corruption that plagues Mongolia's remarkably successful extractives-based economy. But maintaining a vigorous democracy in a country populated by nomadic herders and squeezed between two autocratic superpowers - China and Russia - will always be a challenge. …

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