7 May 2012. Nambaryn Enkhbayar, former president, faces corruption charges in a jail cell on the edge of Ulan Bator. This is the highest-level corruption case that Mongolia has experienced for a long time, since it split from the Soviet Union 20 years ago.
Mr Enkhbayar began an open-ended hunger strike on Friday as a protest against what he claims to be the denial of his basic legal rights, which includes meeting with his lawyers.
Mongolia’s vast mineral resources, which includes the Tavan Tolgoi coking mine and Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine. These are likely to be the key issues in the forthcoming election in June 2012. There is a strong call by parliamentarians to renegotiate the deals concerning these resources and for “strategic resources” to be taken over by the state. Foreign investors are watching cautiously the fate of the $6-billion Tavan Tolgoi coal mine near the Chinese border.