Former Mongolian President Enkhbayar Nambar said he has been deemed ineligible to stand in this month’s parliamentary elections, in the latest setback to his attempted political comeback at a time when fresh questions are being asked about the nation’s democratic foundations. In an interview Thursday, Mr. Enkhbayar said the General Election Commission of Mongolia informed him it wouldn’t accept his application to participate in the June 28 election due to a pending corruption case against him and after consultation with state prosecutors. Mr. Enkhbayar, who served as president from 2005 until 2009, denies the corruption allegations and said he intends to challenge the commission’s decision. Messages left with the commission weren’t returned.
Proceedings are scheduled to resume next week at district court in Ulan Bator over allegations by Mongolia’s Independent Authority Against Corruption that Mr. Enkhbayar profited illegally while in office. The twice-postponed case against Mr. Enkhbayar, who was arrested in April, involves alleged wrongdoing dating back as much as a decade. Competing narratives about the merits of the case ahead of the elections underscore the frequently chaotic nature of Mongolian politics.
Supporters of Mr. Enkhbayar say he is a standard-bearer for democracy in the country, and that the allegations against him were cooked up by sitting politicians who see his comeback as a threat to their own positions. Mr. Enkhbayar’s critics say he embodies the corruption bedeviling the country’s political system, and that his return to politics is a cynical bid to avoid prosecution. Members of Parliament are granted immunity.
Full Article: Former Mongolia President Ineligible for Election – WSJ.com.