Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy in Mongolia

On December 10, 1989, a group of 300 young Mongolians came together and announced the birth of the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU), the first political force to challenge the Communist single-party system in the country. At the same meeting, the newly-formed MDU voiced the demands of the Mongolian people for the Communist regime to cede power, allow a democratic multi-party system of government, grant civil rights to citizens and enforce freedom of the press in the country. Throughout the past 25 years, the democratic revolution transformed Mongolia from a closed society ruled by a repressive single-party Communist system into a free and open society that functions as a dynamic multi-party democracy. At the same time, Mongolia and its citizens have opened up to the international community, gaining access to travel freely around the world, opening their markets to foreign investment and expanding independent foreign policy and multilateral cooperation. The International Republican Institute is proud to have played a small role in helping the Mongolian people achieve their goal of a more democratic, open and transparent country.

1989-12-10 00:00:00

Mongolian Democratic Union Holds its First Rally

On the morning of December 10, the first open pro-democracy demonstration occurs in front of the Youth Cultural Center in Ulaanbaatar where 300 people gather to demand a more democratic government. The Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU) sends a petition to the Central Committee of the ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and to the Great Hural, the country’s parliament. In the petition, the MDU make 13 requests, including constitutional reform to allow opposition political parties and the recognition of human rights in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including guaranteed freedom of the press. The MDU also demands that free and fair elections take place within six months.

1989-12-17 00:00:00

S. Zorig Elected as a Leader of the Mongolian Democratic Union

A second rally of the Mongolian Democratic Union is held in front of the Theater of Opera and Dance. Support for the democratic cause grows with approximately 2,000 people in attendance. Speakers reiterate the demands presented to the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party’s Central Committee and also express the need to ensure the process remained peaceful. Participants include young artists and writers, journalists, painters and architects – who agree, after several discussions, to elect S. Zorig as one of the movement’s leaders.

1990-02-24 00:00:00

First Meeting of Democratic Groups

On February 6, 1990, the Mongolian Students Union tears down a statue of Joseph Stalin in front of the main library after amassing a crowd of more than 1,400 people. Representing the first step towards creating a coalition of democratic forces, the Mongolian Democratic Union, the Democratic Socialist Movement, the New Progressive Union and the Mongolian Students Union meet at the National University of Mongolia. This new coalition names themself the Four Forces.

1990-03-04 00:00:00

Rally of the Four Forces

The rally of the Four Forces is held at Victory Square in front of the Lenin Museum with an estimated 100,000 participants, significant in size considering that Ulaanbaatar has approximately 800,000 residents in 1990. Demonstrators demand the separation of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party from the state and the formation of a People’s Temporary Hural (interim parliament) with the participation of all political forces.

1990-03-09 00:00:00

Resignation of the Politburo

Continuing to apply pressure on the government to acquiesce to the demands of the Four Forces, ten members of Mongolian Democratic Union begin a hunger strike at Sukhbaatar Square on March 7, 1990. Twenty-three additional protesters join the strike. On the morning of March 9, the Politburo announces its resignation, effectively ending the hunger strike protest and setting the stage for multi-party elections in July.

1990-04-07 00:00:00

First Independent Press

The independent newspaper Ardchilal (Democracy) distributes 100,000 copies of its first edition, marking the emergence of independent press in Mongolia. Other independent newspapers including Ug (The Word), Undesnii Devshil (National Progress) and Shine Toli (The New Mirror) soon follow.

1990-07-29 00:00:00

Mongolia’s First Democratic Elections

On July 29th, 1990, Mongolia holds its first democratic parliamentary elections. The first democratically elected People’s Great Hural (parliament) takes office on September 3, 1990, with the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party maintaining its ruling status after winning a majority 31 seats. The Democratic Party picks up 13 seats, and both the Democratic Socialist Party and National Democratic Party gain three seats.

1991-03-01 00:00:00

IRI begins its Support for Mongolia’s Transition to Democracy

IRI staff and political transition experts visit Mongolia to discuss support for the country’s democratic transition, consulting with nascent political parties, civil society activists and journalists. The Institute begins its work supporting a competitive and democratic multi-party system, the new parliament, the role of women and youth in politics, and helping Mongolians implement electoral reforms.

1992-01-13 00:00:00

Mongolians Adopt a New Democratic Constitution

Following the 1990 revolution, Mongolia began work on developing a new democratic constitution. Nearly two years later, it was adopted by parliament, guaranteeing freedom of travel, expression, religion and other unalienable rights.

1992-02-12 00:00:00

The New Democratic Constitution Goes into Effect

The Constitution of Mongolia, adopted on January 13, 1992, becomes the law of the land. It is modeled on many Western constitutions and guarantees Mongolians freedom of press, inalienable rights, freedom of religion and the right to vote.

Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy in Mongolia

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