President party's 'civil war' heats up
Erdene and Tuvaan last summer (news.mn)
DP’s internal divide and drama around it continued as the presumptive presidential candidate Oyungerel sided with embattled Erdene challenging the pro-Battulga faction led by MP Tuvaan.
Oyungerel claims that the interim leader MP Tuvaan overstepped his authority by allowing uncontested re-nomination for President Battulga.
However, the administrative court found that Erdene had no legal ground to lead the DP and Tuvaan loyalists expelled Erdene for 8 years.
In spite of legal challenges, Erdene said that DP’s primary contests for the party leader and presidential candidate would be announced after Tsagaan Sar holidays. He has called into question Battulga’s renomination eligibility by saying that the constitutional court had the final say over the issue - exactly the same position held by the MPP lawmakers.
A self-exiled former PM Saikhanbileg of DP also added his voice in growing internal party opposition to Battulga’s presidential re-nomination.
Saikhanbileg issued an elaborate document (saikhanbileg.com) in English with the help of the international law firm (Amsterdam and Partners) detailing President Battulga’s repression and harassment against him and other opponents over the past four years. He labeled Battulga’s actions as ‘poison’ to Mongolia’s democracy and investment climate.
Ex-mayor Bat-Uul of DP, who is another critic of Battulga, announced that he was not interested in the presidential race. His trial over alleged corruption during his mayorship has been dragging on for years.
Ex-president Elbegdorj of DP, a vocal critic of the president, has been eerily quiet lately.
If DP’s ‘civil war’ gets worse President Battulga could become the first ever sitting president to be denied his party’s nomination.
What is clear is Battulga faces an uphill battle in the coming months for his renomination this summer and risks being denied from re-running.
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