Mongolian Opposition Briefly Seizes State TV

by Nathan Hamm on 7/1/2004

Mongolia’s Sunday elections resulted in a devastating loss for the ruling People’s Revolutionary Party and a slight coalition majority for the opposition Democratic Coalition (for background, see The Argus’s Mongolia archive). Angry at government domination of the media during the campaign, the opposition has seized state TV.

Mongolia’s opposition democrats, angry at being denied air time during disputed elections, occupied the state television building on Thursday, an opposition member of parliament said from inside.

The director of national television, Enkhbat, was being held hostage inside the building, a ruling party official said, and the opposition was calling for his resignation.

About 300 opposition supporters gathered outside and 10 newly elected Democratic members of parliament were inside the building, the opposition MP, Gundalai, said.

“We plan to speak to the people later tonight through direct broadcasts by the television,” said Gundalai. “Because we haven’t been allowed to do so officially, we had to storm the building.”

In an updated story from Reuters, it is reported that the opposition leaders left after the broadcast and urged supporters to go home.

Cross-post from TCP.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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