Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar: Former President gets Four Years on Corruption Charges
Aug 03, 2012 02:54 PM EDT
On Friday former Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar has been sentenced to four years in prison on corruption charges. The court's decision might create political instability owing to the fact that Enkhbayar chairs one of the political parties forming the nation's coalition government.
The 55-year-old Enkhbayar was sought out by the country's anti-graft inspectors in June. In a three-day trial the former president was convicted with the illegal privatization of a hotel, newspaper, laundering of television equipment for his own TV station. In addition to the four year prison sentence, he was made to forfeit property worth $1 million and $40,000 in damages. Although, the court's decision can be applauded as a positive step towards curbing political corruption, the move has posed a possibly destabilizing effect on the government, which in turn could detract investors in country's booming mining industry.
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After the national elections in July the Democratic Party won the majority seats of 31 out 76 and formed a government with the Justice Coalition, whose leading party is the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, which is chaired by Enkhbayar. Although Enkhbayar was barred from participating in the elections, his role as the chair of the party with the third largest block seats in the Mongolian government is quite significant. And therefore politicians are rightfully worried about the repercussions of the court's decision in his corruption.
"The most likely scenario is that the Justice Coalition will remain in the ruling coalition despite condemning the conviction...The coalition parliamentarians will fight to free Chairman Enkhbayar and there may be further concessions from the Democratic Party to the Justice Coalition," Dale Choi, an associate at Origo Partners MGL, a private equity investment company which advises investors on Mongolia told Reuters.
According to reports by Enkhbayar's lawyers, he will surely appeal the conviction.