ULAANBAATAR, December 5. /TASS/. Ulaanbaatar’s mayor, Dolgorsurengiin Sumiyabazar, has canceled his order to use force to disperse protesters as they voluntarily left the capital's central square, Mongolia’s Sonin news website said on Monday, citing the mayor’s office.
According to the news portal, police did not have to use force as the protesters had left Ulaanbaatar’s central square by 11:00 p.m. local time (06:00 p.m. Moscow time). Those who did not leave stayed to clean up the square.
As the protests subsided, Mongolia’s parliament finished its extraordinary online session, which was called to consider the introduction of a state of emergency. It is expected that the lawmakers will continue to discuss the situation at its regular session on Tuesday.
However, if protests continue, it may call into question a conference of the ruling People’s Party, which is scheduled on December 6. The conference is expected to discuss the appointment of the first deputy prime minister, the minister for the affairs of border checkpoints, a deputy parliament speaker, several deputy ministers and regional governors.
A protest rally was held on December 4 in Mongolia’s capital city demanding those responsible for exporting coal to China, bypassing customs control, be named. The demonstrators claimed that there were high-ranking officials among them.
On Monday, the protesters gathered again and tried to block traffic along central streets, set aflame a straw Christmas tree in the central square and rushed to storm the government building. Those who managed to break into the building were detained by the police, but were released shortly afterwards.
In response to the protests, the government set up a working group for dialogue with the demonstrators. The group is chaired by the head of the secretariat of the Mongolian government and leader of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party Dashzegviin Amarbayasgalan.
"As of today, around 15 officials are under investigation. A probe is underway on the basis of a government claim," Amarbayasgalan said, and called for dialogue.
He pledged that the government will work to bring those responsible to justice.