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article imageMongolian prime minister, cabinet survives ousting attempt

By AFP     Nov 30, 2018 in World

Mongolia’s prime minister and his cabinet survived a parliament vote to sack them Friday over a corruption scandal that has implicated high-level politicians in a state fund embezzlement scheme.

"I am not a dictator," said prime minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh during a heated parliamentary session that lasted more than four hours Friday afternoon.

"Some of you are thinking and are afraid that I might turn into a dictator -- I assure you I won't", he said.

In a council meeting earlier this month, Khurelsukh demanded that several high-ranking officials step down for various reasons, including incompetence, resulting in the vote to oust him from office.

One member of the prime minister’s cabinet resigned over corruption allegations.

The move to boot Khurelsukh comes just over a year after the prime minister was named to replace his predecessor, Jargaltulgiin Erdenebat.

In September 2017, Erdenebat too faced parliament over allegations of corruption, such as providing illegal cash allowances to voters, and was sacked, along with his cabinet.

Political instability has been a constant problem for the young Central Asian democracy, which passed its first constitution in 1992 after decades of Communist rule.

The country has been through 15 different cabinets in the years since, each lasting an average of 1.5 years.

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