13 April 2012. Nambaryn Enkhbayar, former president of Mongolia and current opposition leader, has been arrested on corruption charges. He was arrested by uniformed and plainclothes police in a dawn raid on a house in which he was hiding. The reason for the arrest given was that he refused to answer questions about his corruption.
Analysts suspect darker motives as the arrest comes weeks ahead of polls in June. Enkhbayar is now head of the new Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP party), a splinter party from the old Communist Party after the original changed its name to Mongolian People’s Party (MPP). He still wields considerable influence and is trying to stage a come back to the presidency.
After the news of his arrest, his supporters gathered at Sukhbaatar Square in a show of demonstration. But it was reported that the situation had returned to normal now.
E Ambarbat, head of the Independent Agency Against Corruption, told a press conference that the corruption involved illegal privatisation of a government-owned hotel.
The arrest occurred shortly after Enkhbayar released a 300 page classified document from the National Security Council which contained information about 2008 elections and the protests that followed on July 1 2008, in which five people died. Enkhbayar told reporters that 2008 parliamentary elections were corrupt.
This arrest is likely to have some impact on the investments that are pouring into Mongolia. Some analysts said that a conviction would send signal to the investors of a stronger anti-corruption enforcement and rule of law.
Update – 17 April 2012.
Here is a YouTube video of the arrest of former president, Nambaryn Enkhbayar. Although the video is not in English, you can see the chaotic scene of the early dawn arrest.
SS Editor, Corruption.net