Mongolia: Protesters Try To Storm State Palace

    Photo: AFP [via The Straits Times]

    The Facts

    • On Monday, thousands of people defied freezing temperatures in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, to demand "justice" against alleged corruption in the country's coal industry and soaring inflation, as well as the dissolution of parliament.

    • Demonstrators gathered at the city's Sukhbaatar Square and marched to the presidential residence, with some attempting to force their way inside the building. Around 9 pm, police tried to break up the crowd as clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though some protests might be instrumentalized for political purposes related to backroom dealings and political elites clashes, they express Mongolians' overall frustrations with their government. This is the second time this year that Mongolians have protested against the government in significant numbers; these demonstrations are clearly based on more than just political conspiracies. More must be done to address the people's concerns.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Mongolian government is doing all it can and has already ordered state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi to work openly and cooperate with the customs and tax authorities to make coal exports transparent while investigations into alleged illegal actions are underway. It is important to stress, though, that it would be impossible to illegally export millions of tons of coal without control.

    Establishment split



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