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Mongolian Parliament Chooses New PM
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Mongolia's parliament chose the mayor of Ulan Bator as the new prime minister yesterday.


Miyeegombo Enkhbold, 41, is the chief of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP).


"The issue of forming the cabinet in a very short period of time will be brought to the parliament soon," Enkhbold said in a speech after parliament's morning vote.


"Our government's actions will achieve concrete results that will be felt by the people," he said, repeating MPRP pledges to work to raise salaries and pensions and to include other political parties in the new cabinet.


All parties in parliament, the Great Hural, agreed after the vote that a new cabinet should be established as soon as possible, preferably before the January 30 start of Mongolia's Lunar New Year celebrations.


Two weeks ago half of the cabinet, all member of the MPRP quit the coalition government of then Prime Minister Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, a Democrat.


Supporters of both sides launched mostly brief protests in the city in sub-zero temperatures.


The Democrats have vowed to form their own shadow cabinet rather than take part in an MPRP-organized government.


Yet the Great Hural passed Enkhbold's appointment by a margin that showed some Democrats must have voted for him.


The Great Hural had been expected to vote on the MPRP chief's nomination last Friday, but political jockeying delayed the process.


After pulling out of the ruling coalition, the MPRP urged the country's other political parties to join it in forming a new National Unity Government. The Mongolian National Democratic Party, the country's second largest political body, and another party have refused.


Enkhbold told parliament his cabinet would work to fight official corruption and create an environment favorable for investment in the gold- and mineral-rich country.


"Both domestic and foreign investors have paused their activities. They are watching and waiting," parliamentarian Batbayar, an MPRP member, said.


"Providing a stable environment for developing Mongolia is essential for the future."


After Mongolia's parliamentary elections in 2004, a coalition government was created between the MPRP and the Motherland Democracy Coalition.


Mongolia is a country where nearly half of the 2.5 million population are nomadic herders and whose economy relies on mining for the bulk of its foreign investment.


(China Daily January 26, 2006)


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