Mongolia. According to
Countryaah, the bourgeois government that took office in
1996 has accelerated the restoration of the public economy.
Crisis-hit banks have been closed, government spending has
been sharply reduced, and fees for electricity, water, etc.
has been raised. In May, Mongolia was probably the first
country to abandon all customs duties. The lenders pay
tribute to the reforms, but the individual Mongols are
severely affected and have seen their real wages fall by 30%
in one year. Abolished price controls have led to rapid
inflation and unemployment of about 28%. The United Nations
Agricultural Organization FAO warned in October of food
shortages. One fifth of the population is classified as poor
and at risk.
In the May presidential election, the former Communist
Party candidate Natsagijn Bagabandi won by more than 60% of
the vote before the bourgeois President Punsalmaagijn
Otjirbat, who got just under 30%. Bagabandi, in February
elected leader of the Mongolian Revolutionary Party, Mongol
Ardyn Chuvisgalt Nam, promised to slow the pace of reform
and focus more on social issues. However, privatization will
continue and the government plans to sell more than 800
state-owned companies by 2000, among other things. the
airline and the largest copper mine.