Mongolia: Intimidation and Arrests during Elections



In Mongolia, arrests of candidates for parliament continue. On Thursday, June 18, in the Chingeltei District Court of First Instance, a criminal case was examined against seven people, including former Prime Minister Bayar.


At the hearing, the court ruled that all suspects, except for Bayar, be detained until the next trial.


According to the district court, former prime minister Bayar, former finance minister Bayartsogt and five others are suspected of damaging national interests by signing an agreement to develop the Oyu Tolgoi mine.


Hearings in a case involving politicians began two years ago. In 2018, Bayartsogt and three other people who held high government posts were arrested. They are suspected of misuse of power and unjust enrichment.


On Thursday, June 18, the court decided to detain six suspects until the next hearing, scheduled for June 26. Former Prime Minister Bayar released on bail.


Five suspects are candidates for parliament, so for the first time in the history of the country, six candidates will run for parliamentary elections in the pre-trial detention center.

Earlier, a Mongolian court decided to detain the other three candidates, ex-MP Nomtoybayar, MP and former Prime Minister Erdenebat and independent candidate Bat-Yalalt.


Rallies were organized in support of the detained politicians in the capital of Mongolia, the detainees' lawyers demanded justice from the court and compliance with the law.


It's not clear whether the Central Election Committee gave permission to arrest the candidates.