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Mongolia ex-pres goes on hunger strike

April 14, 2012, 12:38 UTC+3

Enkhbayar was arrested on Friday. It was made public that he went on a hunger strike on Saturday

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ULAN-BATOR, April 14 (Itar-Tass) — The situation is quiet on Saturday in the streets of the Mongolian capital, says the AIST-MONGOLIYA TV channel.

“Strikes continued in the Mongolian capital on Friday till 18.00 local time; calm supreme reigns in the streets this Saturday,” the TV channel reported. “In the meantime, the state of emergency was imposed on embassies of foreign states; the secondary school at the Russian embassy in Mongolia and the branch of the Plekhanov Academy will not work till Monday.”

According to reports of the local press, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) staged a demonstration in the capital on Friday and demanded releasing from arrest ex-President Nambaryn Enkhbayar. Over 1,000 MPRP members and their sympathizers participated in the demonstration.

Protesters demanded releasing the ex-president within 24 hours, warning that otherwise the party would take new actions.

Enkhbayar was arrested on Friday. It was made public that he went on a hunger strike on Saturday.

The Mongolian mass media reported that the former president had been arrested by police on a suspicion of corruption. The local press wrote that the ex-president was arrested after he had made public the secret verbatim report of a meeting of leading political parties that took place after the July 2008 events – mass rioting which erupted following the announcement of election results to the country’s parliament.

Enkhbayar, the present leader of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, was elected the country’s president in 2005. He held this post till 2009. Prior to this, he held the posts of parliament speaker and of prime minister. In November 2010, delegates of the 26th MPRP congress decided to return to the initial party name when it had been founded in 1921 – the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP).

Enkhbayar withdrew from the MPP and became the leader of the MPRP, restored after the split, which is now bracing for the election campaign.

Experts link Enkhbayar’s arrest with the confrontation of the largest political forces in the country on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Mongolia to be held next June. Under the Constitution, Mongolia is a parliamentary state.

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