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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 09:14 GMT
Mongolia crisis sparks protests
Demonstrators march around Mongolia's parliament building as hundreds of people protest in the centre of the capital, Ulan Bator, against the MPRP"s manoeuvres and call for fresh elections, 16 January
Demonstrators braved freezing temperatures to air their grievances
Hundreds of Mongolians have held fresh protests in the capital Ulan Bator as the country's largest party, the MPRP, began work on forming a new government.

The political crisis has triggered demonstrations against corruption and growing inequality. Crowds on Monday demanded the president resign.

The crisis began last week when the MPRP pulled out of a coalition that had governed since 2004.

The MPRP is now seeking to build its own coalition.

Monday's protest was organised by the Mongolian United Movement, an alliance of three civic movements calling for political reform in Mongolia, according to the Associated Press.

"Dawn has broken in Mongolia. We are getting poorer every day and corrupt officials are getting richer. Now is the time to take action," a leaflet distributed by the organisers of Monday's rally read.

A 45-year-old herdsman watching the protest said the MPRP, the former communist party backed by Moscow during Soviet rule, was responsible for corruption.

"The old revolutionaries like Lenin were at least working for the poor. But now, [the MPRP] are working for themselves for the purpose of becoming rich," Otgonbataar told Reuters news agency.

A protester, Tamara, told the Associated Press: "I do not support political parties, I came here because my life gets harder every day.

"My pension is not enough. The government says they have increased the pension, but at the same time the cost of living is going up," she said.


MPRP member and former Foreign Minister, Moenkh-Orgil, said his party aimed to have a new prime minister nominated by Friday and a Cabinet formed by the end of next week.

The MPRP, led by Miyeegombyn Enkhbold, holds 38 of the parliament's 76 seats. It therefore needs to attract the support of minor parties in order to form a majority, or to encourage at least one rival Democratic Party member to defect.

The Democratic Party holds 34 seats.

The MPRP cited slow economic growth, inflation and corruption when it withdrew support from the government.

But the Democratic Party accused the MPRP of resigning because the party's alleged corruption was about to be discussed by parliament.

Mongolia MPs vote out government
13 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Mongolia faces political crisis
12 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Ex-communists win Mongolia race
23 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Mongolia
12 Jan 06 |  Country profiles
Daily threat for Mongolia nomads
27 Jul 03 |  From Our Own Correspondent

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