Saikhanbileg Cabinet Nominations

After about a month of self-inflicted turmoil, the government of Mongolia is heading for some stability again. With a supercoalition of all parties seemingly in place, PM Saikhanbileg has now nominated the following individuals for cabinet positions:

[On Dec 8, as the State Great Khural is preparing to vote on these nominations, we’ve added some biographical information on the nominees below]

Prime Minister (Монгол Улсын Ерөнхий Сайд): Ch Saikhanbileg (DP: Polarstar Faction)
Born 1969
Moscow State University for the Humanities (History), National University of Mongolia (Law), George Washington University (Law)
Russian and English
MP 1996-2000, 2008-present
Min of Education 1998-2000
Cabinet Secretary 2012-14

Deputy Prime Minister (Шадар сайд): U Khurelsukh (MPP)
Born 1968
Defense University of Mongolia (Political Science), Institute of Public Administration and Development (Public Administration), National University of Mongolia (Law)
MP 2000-2008
Min of National Emergency Agency 2004-06
Min in charge of Professional Inspections 2006-08
MPP Gen Secretary 2008-2012

Cabinet Secretary (Хэрэг эрхлэх газрын дарга): S Bayartsogt (DP: Polarstar Faction)
Moscow State Univ (Economics), Foreign Trade Academy (Germany), National University of Mongolia (Law)
English, Russian, German
MP 1990-92, 1996-2000, 2004-present
Part of OT Investment Agreement negotiation team (2008-09), debated S Ganbaatar in 2013
Forced to resign as deputy speaker in 2013 after publication of $1mio offshore accounts in Cook Islands
Min of Environment 1998
Cabinet Secretary 2004-06
Finance Minister 2008-12

Minister of Environment, Green Development, and Tourism (Байгаль орчин, ногоон хөгжил, аялал жуулчлалын сайд): D Oyunkhorol (MPP)
Mongolian State Univ of Education, National University of Mongolia (Law)
English, Russian
MP 2000-04, 2008-present

Minister of Foreign Relations (Гадаад харилцааны сайд): L Purevsuren (DP: Presidential Faction)
Moscow International Relations Institute
English, German, Russian
Foreign Policy & Security Advisor to the President 2008-2014

Minister of Finance (Сангийн сайд): J Erdenebat (MPP)
Trade and Industry Institute, Academy of Administration, Mongolian Univ of Agriculture
MP 2012-present
Governor of Selenge Aimag 2008-12

Minister of Justice (Хууль зүйн сайд): D Dorligjav (DP: Presidential Faction)
Born 1959
Dep Premier 1992-96
Min of Defense 1996-98
Head of Erdenet (Mining) 2004-10
Prosecutor General 2010-2014

Minister of Industry (Аж үйлдвэрийн сайд): D Erdenebat (DP: Head of DP Caucus)
University of Polytechnics, Irkutsk
MP 2012-present
Head of DP caucus in parliament 2012-present

Minister of Defense (Батлан хамгаалахын сайд): Ts Tsolmon (Justice Coalition: MPRP)
Born 1953
Polytechnic Institute of Irkutsk, Diplomatic Academy of Moscow
English, Russian
Min of Labour 1990-92
Min of Construction and Infrastructure 2006-08
MP 2012-present

Minister of Construction and Urban Development (Барилга, хот байгуулалтын сайд): D Tsogtbaatar (MPP)
Born 1970
Moscow International Relations Institute, Australian National Univ (Law)
English, Russian
Foreign Policy & Security Advisor to the President 2000-2008
Min of Environment 2012

Minister of  Education, Culture and Science (Боловсрол, соёл, шинжлэх ухааны сайд): Lu Gantumur (DP: One Democracy)
Sandei College (Japan), Nagaoka Technology University, Japan
English, Russian, Japanese
MP 2004-present
Min of Education & Science 2012-2014

Minister of Roads and Transport (Зам, тээврийн сайд): N Tumurkhuu (MPP)
National Univ of Mongolia

Minister of Mining (Уул уурхайн сайд): R Jigjid (DP: Falcon Faction)
Born 1958
National Univ of Mongolia, Shinshu Univ, Japan,

Minister of Labour (Хөдөлмөрийн сайд): S Chinzorig (MPP)
Born 1964

Minister of Population Development and Social Welfare (Хүн амын хөгжил, нийгмийн хамгааллын сайд): S Erdene (DP: Mongolian Democratic Union Faction)
Otgontenger Univ (Law), Defense Univ of Mongolia, Management Academy
English, Russian
MP 2009-present
Minister for Population Development and Social Protection 2012-2014

Minister of Food and Agriculture (Хүнс, хөдөө аж ахуйн сайд): R Burmaa (DP: Mongolian Democratic Union Faction)
Electronic Technical Institute, Bulgaria, National Univ of Mongolia
English, Russian, Bulgarian
MP 2012-present

Minister of Energy (Эрчим хүчний сайд): D Zorigt (DP: Polar Star)
Construction & Engineering School, USSR
MP 2008-12

Minister of Health and Sports (Эрүүл мэнд, спортын сайд): G Shiilegdamba (Justice Coalition: MPRP)
Min of Environment & Tourism 2006-08

Minister of Mongolia (Монгол Улсын сайд): M Enkhsaikhan (Justice Coalition: MNDP)
Chief of Staff, President 1993-95
Prime Minister 1996-98

So, Is This a Technocratic Cabinet?

Only two ministers from Altankhuyag’s cabinet have re-nominated:  MP Lu Gantumur, acting Minister of Education, Culture, and Science, and MP S Erdene, acting Minister Population Development and Social Welfare.

“Double Deel” (давхар дээл) candidates:

  • 6 out 9 from the DP candidates
  • 2 out 6 from the MPP candidates
  • 1 out 3 from the Justice Coalition

These nominations did not satisify the public and presidential demand for “single deel.”

Two women candidates: MP R Burmaa (DP) and MP D Oyunkhorol (MPP).

Prominent politicians:

  • D Dorligjav, former Chief Prosecutor, Chairman and General Secretary of the DP, 1st deputy premier, defense minister, minister for professional inspection, and head of Erdenet Mine;
  • U Khurelsukh, former MP, General Secretary of the MPP, minister for national emergency management agency;
  • M Enkhsaikhan, former Prime Minister, MP, Chairman of the DP, presidential candidate from the DP, Chairman of the MNDP

New Generations:

  • 2 out 9 of the DP candidates are new faces in politics (R Jigjid and L Purevsuren)
  • 4 out 6 of the MPP candidates
  • 1 out 3 of the Justice candidates

It is hard to say these candidates form the more technocratic cabinet as political parties, especially the DP, promised and the public expected.


The great hope is that the supercoalition will bring some stability at least until some period close to the summer 2016 elections when it will likely fall apart to prepare for the campaign.

The hope is also that a supercoalition will shield any individual/individual party from blame for certain decisions, so perhaps this government will be more decisive. One might argue that Saikhanbileg himself might not see much glory in leading this government and that only decisive action might save the DP (and assure him of a continued political role) for the next election.

I’ve got my own wishlist of issues that the new government should tackle after immediately dealing with Oyu Tolgoi and the economic crisis.

About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He tweets @jdierkes
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