When in the late 1980’s the Soviet Union went through fundamental political changes (Perestroika) and the communist system finally collapsed, it signalled equally important changes for the Mongolian People’s Republic. Sensitive to the developments in their communist neighbourhood Mongolia’s national consciousness was awakened. People all over Mongolia established political groups and clubs with the objective to call for social justice, freedom and democratisation.
A great number of parties were founded, their names showing the already broad range of topics people felt needed to be addressed. Among others there were the Democratic Socialist Union, New Progressive Union, Mongolian Social Democratic Party, Mongolian National Democratic Party, Free Labour Party, and Mongolian Green Party. In December 1989, the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU) was formed and Sanjaa Zorig, a teacher of the National University of Mongolia was elected as a “General Coordinator” of the MDU.
Photograph Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar
7 March 1990
Mongolia’s first political hunger strike by a group of protesters - tfollowing the government not answering the demands that arose from the 5th freedom demonstration held three days earlier that had been attended by 90,000 people.
In the first free multi-party elections July 1990, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party obtained 60 percent of the votes and so stayed in power.
However the new Prime Minister D.Byambasuren appointed two opposition leaders to his cabinet and the new government got to work implementing democratic reforms for the new parliamentary republic.
Constitution of Mongolia
The Constitution that was approved on 25 January 1992 changed the name of the country from ‘the People’s Republic of Mongolia’, set in 1924, to ‘Mongolia’, as chosen by the Parliamentarians of the Republic State, and declared to develop a humane, civil and democratic society which respected human rights, freedoms, justice and national unity.
In 1991, it was decided that the structure of the Mongolian parliament would take the form of two chambers: the State Great Khural and the State Small Khural. Paralleling the political transition to a democratic and parliamentarian state, Mongolia shifted economically towards a free market economy. In the immediate years of the transition to democracy, Soviet trade and economic assistance were stopped and a rationing system of food products was temporarily introduced.
The privatisation of state property, the stock exchange and livestock was a milestone in the transition towards a market based on the principle of private ownership. Mongolia’s active foreign policy with developed foreign nations resulted in favourable economic relations. International organizations like the UN, UNDP, World Bank, and a number of other institutions cooperate in economic and financial matters.
Flag of Mongolia
The national flag is divided vertically into three parts of identical width. The blue symbolises the eternal sky. The two outer parts are red and symbolise progress and prosperity. The golden soyombo signifies Mongolian independence and is depicted in the center of the red part nearest to the flag pole. The ratio of the height to width of the flag is 1:2.
With the participation of developed countries, the mining sector in Mongolia has received great impetus and has been steadily developed. Mongolia’s rich deposits carry the potential to bring great wealth to the whole country and society.
In the realm of culture, re-establishing monastic centres of learning, building schools and universities as well as the education and training of students and scientists overseas were and are all matters of high priority.