Nambaryn Enkhbayar (Mongolian: Намбарын Энхбаяр; born June 1, 1958) is a Mongolian politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Mongolia from 2000 to 2004, as Speaker of the Parliament from 2004 to 2005, and as President of Mongolia from 2005 to 2009. He is the first person to have held all of the top three positions in Mongolian government. He was the chairman of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party from 1997 to 2005.
In 2012 Enkhbayar was sentenced to two and a half year prison term by all of three level courts of Mongolia for graft, embezzlement, misappropriation of government properties, and misuse of his position.
Early life and education
Nambaryn Enkhbayar was born on 1 June 1958 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He finished a secondary school in 1975, and earned an undergraduate degree majoring in literature and language studies from Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, Russia in 1980. He studied at an English language and literature course at Leeds University in the United Kingdom in 1985-1986. Enkhbayar became the chairman of the Association of Mongolian Writers in 1990. He is married to Onongiin Tsolmon in 1987 and they have four children.
In 1992, as a member of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) Enkhbayar was elected to the State Great Khural (Mongolian Parliament). Mongolia voted to retain former communist MPRP during its first venture into democratic elections, and Enkhbayar was appointed to serve as the country's Minister of Culture. He held that post until 1996, when the Democratic Party ousted the MPRP in the parliamentary elections that year. In 1996 Enkhbayar became the secretary general of the MPRP and led the opposition MPRP group in the Parliament. In 1997 he was elected as the chairman of the MPRP.
In 1999, the country was hit by one of its infamous zud spells, when summer draught and cold weather blizzards resulted in severe food shortages and loss of thousands of livestock. The government responded poorly to the disaster and the MPRP received an unexpected boost from the climatological disaster. Enkhbayar's leading MPRP won 2000 parliamentary elections winning 72 out of 76 seats. The MPRP controlling the parliament, Enkhbayar became the country's Prime Minister. He initiated an ambitious Millennium Road project to connect Mongolian territory from east to west. The road to connect Mongolia to Asian highway was never completed. On Christmas Day of December 25, 2003, Robert Friedland, owner of Ivanhoe Mines-Canada based company received a phone call from "Enkhbayar, who was asking for a spare USD50 million by the next day, to pay Mongolia’s debt to the former USSR before the New Year...As a businessman with an eye for a bargain, Robert Friedland was ready to provide the USD 50 million within the next 24 hours in exchange for an exploitation license for Oyu Tolgoi." The secret deal went through and without tender bids Enkhbayar's government gave a 100% exploitation license of Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi-the biggest copper and gold deposit available in the world-to Ivanhoe Mines company in December 2003. The Russian Federation wrote off 97% of former USSR loans to Mongolia, which was estimated to amount to US$ 11.3 billion on December 31, 2003. For the three percent payment "Russians claimed they received USD200 million out of USD 250 million... There were a group of corrupt officials on both the Mongolian and Russian sides, who pocketed this money. Then Prime Minister of Russia Kasyanov, dubbed “Misha ten percent”, could not provide a credible explanation for this case, and apparently this was the very foundation from which President Putin started his investigations (in Russia.)" The two Prime Ministers Enkhbayar and Kasyanov knew where the 50 million USD which completely disappeared from the transaction. Also this was the first time since the 1920s that Mongolia did not owe debt to its northern neighbor, while it was controversial debt due to Mongolia being a raw material supplier to Soviet Union pricing the materials almost free for former USSR. Thanks to international exposure of Mongolia's vast mineral resources, the economy experienced 10% real GDP growth in 2004.
Speaker of Parliament
In 2004, MPRP lost to Motherland Democratic Coalition-a coalition of Democratic Party and Motherland Party. Due to election result where none of the coalition and the MPRP became the enough majority to hold the government, grand coalition government was formed and Enkhbayar became the Speaker of the Parliament and served on this post in 2004-2005.
He won 2005 presidential election and became the Mongolian President. He welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush who paid an official visit to Mongolia. It was the first U.S president's visit to the country. Mongolia received US$ 285 million aid from the United States' Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) which United States President George W.Bush signed with Enkhbayar in 2007.
In the 2009 Mongolian presidential election, incumbent President Enkhbayar was defeated by Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Democratic Party. Elbegdorj won 51.21% of total votes while Enkhbayar got 47.41%. Thus Enkhbayar became the first Mongolian President to lose re-election.
New political party establishment
In 2010 Enkhbayar established a political party and named it Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. The party received approval to use the previous name of the Mongolian People's Party from the Supreme Court of Mongolia on 26 June 2011. Enkhbayar became the chairman of his established party.
Convicted of corruption
The Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) arrested Enkhbayar at the dawn of 13 April 2012. The IAAC stated that it arrested Enkhbayar for questioning in a graft case involving the illegal privatization of a government-owned hotel because he never showed up for questioning eleven times over a year during the investigation, thus it was forced to arrest him.
Over 1000 members of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and Enkhbayar's supporters participated in Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party's organized demonstration demanding Enkhbayar's release on the same day of his arrest. During his imprisonment, as well as in prison's hospital where Enkhbayar had exclusive four rooms for his sole use, his government cook cooked him his special meals and his state bodyguards protected him. On 4 May 2012, Enkhbayar announced a dry hunger strike demanding his release. He lost around 12 kilograms in 16 days. Amnesty International issued a statement demanding the Mongolian authority to respect human rights of Enkhbayar compatible to international standards. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon made a phone call to President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj expressing concern over Enkhbayar's health. Enkhbayar was released on bail on 14 May 2012. United States Senator Dianne Feinstein expressed to the U.S.Senate her pleasure for Enkhbayar's release on bail and said "For any democracy, due process and the rule of law are essential.”
On 8 June 2012 the General Elections Committee (GEC) refused to register Enkhbayar as a candidate for 2012 parliamentary elections in MPRP party list listed as number one. It stated that the official documents sent from the Prosecutor's Office and Sukhbaatar District Court of Ulaanbaatar required the rejection of Enkhbayar's application pending the case.
On 2 August 2012, after a three-day trial Sukhbaatar District Court convicted Enkhbayar of corruption and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, three of which was pardoned and then gave four years prison term and fined with over MNT 1.7 billion for misusing state properties and government power. Enkhbayar's sentence was reduced to two and a half year prison term without the fine by the Supreme Court of Mongolia-the highest court in Mongolia for graft and embezzlement such as misappropriation of government properties and assets such as Sukhbaatar printing factory and an Urgoo hotel to his family, and misuse of his government position.
However, Enkhbayar spent less than a month in prison and spent the rest of his prison term as a patient at the Second General Hospital where high ranking government officials are medically treated. This is thanks to the change of the prisoners' medical treatment rule by health minister Natsagiin Udval, his Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party's secretary general.
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|Party political offices|
|General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Party
|General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Party
|Prime Minister of Mongolia
|President of Mongolia