Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mongolian Government Structure, 1691-2014

Mongolian Government Structure, 1691-2014 

Manchu Dynasty Government Structure, 1691-1910
The Manchu's established three major administrative units and gained the support and loyalty of some nobility and the numerous monasteries. The head of Mongolia was the Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, who ruled all of Manchuria and China as well. Three Manchurian ministries were established in three major administrative cities - Hovd (Khovd), Ih Huree (present day Ulaanbaatar, also known by its Russian name, Urga) and Uliastai. These three Ministries were strategically positioned in the north, the center, and the west in order to facilitate the rule of six territorial divisions that existed as kingdoms before the Manchu subjugation. The Ministries were usually ruled by the Manchu's, but were staffed with both Mongolian and Manchu officials. The Hovd Ministry in the west ruled Dorvod and Tsetsen Khan Provinces; the Ih Huree Ministry ruled the capital and the Central and Eastern Provinces of Tusheet Khaan and Zasagt Khan; the Uliastai Ministry ruled the Midwestern provinces of Sain Noyon Khan and Khovsgol and Uriankhai districts in the North.
A Manchu court in Ih Huree, 1900, courtesy of the National Museum of Mongolian History.
The government structure was hierarchical, and Manchu's held the highest executive posts while the Mongolian princes were given lower administrative posts.

Communist Era Government Structure
The 1960-1990 government structure of Mongolia is the best representation of the country's communist organization, since by 1960 the Communist Party leadership was firmly established, the country's economic and social situation had stabilized, and the Soviet model had been implemented. The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) was the only party in power throughout the communist period. The Mongolian people engaged in compulsory, one-choice voting every five years to elect The People's Great Hural (Assembly).*
The People's Great Hural consisted of 370 members of the MPRP elected from each election district (the total population was divided into units of 4,000 people for the elections). It should be noted that the voters confirmed rather than elected the candidate chosen by MPRP for each election district, since they did not have multiple options to choose from and the candidates were to be accepted unanimously. The People's Great Hural, the state's highest legislative body and government organ, ruled the state, established all executive state organizations, and was responsible for ratifying and amending the Constitution and other laws.
"...votersconfirmed rather than elected the candidate chosen by MPRP for each election district..."
The People's Great Hural drafted economic development plans for the country; every five years the members ratified a five-year economic plan that set the goals of development for different economic sectors. The Chairman, together with the members of the Presidium of the State Great Hural (see chart), held the ultimate authority over State matters. They had ten permanent offices (such as agriculture, infrastructure and industry, and education) that oversaw and implemented different aspects of state affairs. Under a particularly dictatorial chairman, the Presidium could hold all the power, reducing the Great Hural's responsibilities to a mere unanimous approval. Such one-man dictatorship occurred under Marshal Choibalsan, who held the Chairman's position from 1939 to 1952.*
The People's Great Hural appointed the Council of Ministers, which oversaw agricultural, cultural, educational, science, economic, and political sectors. The State Committee, which functioned under the Council of the Ministers, was in charge of drafting one-year development plans, implementing plans ratified by the Great Hural across the country, and monitoring and evaluating these plans. The State Supreme Justice and State Prosecutors were appointed by the Great Hural and worked according to the instructions provided by the Hural. The Supreme Justice and State Prosecutors appointed the judicial administration on the local level.*
The Ih Hural (Parliament) in the Communist era, courtesy of the National Museum of Mongolian History.
The People's Great Hural also appointed the provincial and district hural members, who were responsible for implementing the laws and decrees of the central government. The provincial and district hurals were in charge of all local political, economic, and social organizations and activities. The executive committees of the provincial and district hurals were elected by the provincial and district hurals to effectively manage the rapidly increasing urban and rural population. These committees served as bureaucratic organizations for the district Hurals, and reported both to the Council of the Ministries and the local Hurals for their activities.

Democratic Period Government Structure (1990 - the Present)
The 1992 Constitution granted human rights, equality, and a Constitutional Court that would ensure judicial independence and safeguard people's constitutional right.* It established a unicameral parliament headed by the Prime Minister and joined by a nationally elected President. The government system was decentralized as each aimag (province) formed a self-governing body, or local hural(assembly). Such agencies as the Government National Security Council, the Constitutional Tribunal, and the General Council of the Courts were established independent of government control to create checks and balances for the Parliament.
Nambar Enkhbayar, Prime
Minister of Mongolia (right) with Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of Japan
Modern Mongolia is a parliamentarian democracy, meaning that the Mongolian parliament (Ih Hural - State Great Assembly) is Mongolia's main legislative body. The voters, who are Mongolian citizens of age 18 and older, elect members of Parliament every four years. The elections are held by simple majority rule, and polling is only valid if at least 50% of the voters cast their vote.
The Prime Minister of Mongolia, the head of the government, presides over the Ih Hural and forms the government, i.e., selects members of the cabinet to head each ministry. The voters also elect a President who is head of state for a four-year term.
Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi (right) and the First Lady of Mongolia in India.
The Government:
While Americans refer to all three branches (legislative, executive, judicial) as "the government," in Mongolia this term is reserved for the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers.
Other Levels of Government
The territory of Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags and the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The provinces (aimag) of Mongolia are subdivided into 333 regions (sum), and these regions are further divided into 1664 hamlets (bag). Ulaanbaatar City is divided into 9 districts and 117 sub-districts.*
While administrative and territorial units of Mongolia are under central state government, they have a right to limited self-government. Local government bodies may issue ordinances within their powers, and have the power to make independent decisions on socio-economic matters of the respective territorial and administrative units. On the level of aimag and sum, elected assemblies make the policies. On the bag and horoo levels, general meetings of citizens make decisions (Article 39:2).

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