2017-04-25 09:00 GMT+8

A democratic dictatorship (democratura) is a form of government that embodies key elements of both democracy (democratia) and dictatorship (dictatura). This type of government harms or neglects public interest or the interests of the majority, and faces no penalty.

If you look at countries under a democratic dictatorship, you can always find the features of democracy, such as a constitution, parliament, independent judiciary, regular elections, and freedom to speak and hold a demonstration. However, in reality, these features are masterfully taken advantage of by post-communist elites to deceive the people and preserve their power.

Some countries with this form of government experience vote-buying, the changing of election results, and the use of government apparatus to silence those who have differing political views.

British scholar Neil Ascherson said that the main goal of a democratic dictatorship is to keep the ruling power in their own political group, which steals from the public and positions their obsolete, cruel policies and measures as ‘actions called for and wanted by the people’ to the public and the external world.

Even a politically uneducated person can now see how fast this democratura (democratic dictatorship) is growing in Mongolia.


Democratic dictatorships are also referred to as a managed democracy. The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and the Democratic Party (DP), who have been the majority one after another in the duration of over 20 years since our transition to democracy, have now turned it into a democratura. Having put the face of democracy on its appearance, these two political parties have been stealing from everything valuable both openly and secretly.

A small group of MPP/DP executives (partocrats) has been managing the Mongolian government over generations. Mongolians are now even fighting amongst their families to become part of the executive group and be taken under their wings. The biggest companies in Mongolia are being cautious by supporting the both parties and donating cash separately.

The difference between Mongolia’s democratura and a true dictatorship is that our politicians call the government a democracy, and have been putting in strong efforts to keep the external appearance of democracy intact, which includes the constitution, the supreme court, elections, parliament, opposition, and freedom of speech.

Our democratura politicians have been attempting to give the most elaborate speeches to show that they value good governance and the fight against corruption, and have been trying to obtain membership from any international organizations that have democratic countries as members. If there were an international public speaking competition on democracy, many of our Mongolian politicians would be finalists.

Because it is not a true dictatorship yet, our partocrat authorities have been discriminating and pressuring specific individuals and companies, instead of squeezing specific social classes, political parties, or institutions.


Carrying out a national reform comes with its challenges. Endeavors such as reforming the constitution and ensuring true freedom of the press are taking place in an environment where our economy is only half-organized, financial discipline is lost, currency rates are weakening without control, unemployment is high, new capitalists are acting as parasites, and an uncompromising standoff is happening between the authorities and the opposition.

While the labor productivity is low, corrupt government officials are working for their own interests and solving their own issues, instead of working for the people and our country. The billionaires born from MPP/DP stole an unimaginable amount of public money at the beginning of privatization. Therefore, they do not have the time to manage the country.

Our government officials are scared of thinking about the power and money they stole, and what they would be held accountable for. This is the reason why they always attempt to commence new projects or measures, so that the old may be forgotten. As a result, our big political and economic decisions are made in a way that outcomes and consequences have not been taken into account, leading to more economic difficulties. The corruption that started with the land of Ulaanbaatar expanded into transportation and agriculture. It was followed by the boom of mining licenses and business permits, and the subsequent gold dealers. Then, all these have been covered up by the issuing of bonds worth billions. Currently, they are working to acquire an even bigger loan from abroad, in order to pay off the previous debts. At the same time, the authorities are increasing the taxes paid by both the people and the private sector.

Although our democratura leaders have set a trend where they talk about developing mega projects and discuss expenditures and incomes of billions of dollars, the MPP/DP elites have been blocking all projects until they come to an agreement on how the pieces of the pie will be divided.

Unfortunately, a democratic dictatorship is legitimate because the democratura politicians develop and pass laws that benefit their interests. This is why we have many legal loopholes, and politicians are already aware of them before passing laws.

Due to flaws in the judicial system of our democratic dictatorship, it has become less likely that we will be able to prove the crimes that have brought significantly negative consequences to our economy and society. As a result, Mongolian laws are not being applied equally to individuals as well as companies. It has become a common phenomenon in Mongolia’s society that the sensational corruption cases drag on for years without any verdict and end up being included in the pardons. All culprits of crimes related to the railroad, MIAT, and roads have been either exonerated or pardoned.


As much as they neglect the public interests, the democratura politicians and their organizations become increasingly cautious of their own security. The first job of any democratura government is to appoint their own people to the law enforcement agencies, so that their power and status can be protected. Moreover, they prioritize controlling their potential competitors, getting rid of them one by one, and blackmailing them so that they are under control.

The positions that offer special protections and immunity, such as becoming a member of parliament, a member of the supreme court or an ambassador abroad, have become the ultimate goal of our democratic dictators. A clear example of this is the large number of MPP/DP democratura politicians who have started sending their own names for election as presidential candidate.

The MPP/DP democratura elites have harnessed enormous financial power after receiving donations for their political parties, selling government and political party positions at expensive prices, and receiving bribes. With the power of money, they have brought the media under their control and established their monopoly on the press. Although the Mongolian media shows many debates and discussions around a lot of social issues, no real outcome has been achieved.

The Mongolian National Broadcaster and the largest daily newspapers (Daily News, Today, UB Post, etc.) have their doors closed to anyone who has a different opinion and contradicts the interests of the democratura. It has become a common thing for these newspapers and media to sign closure contracts and agree to not critique on specific issues or election candidates for a certain period of time.


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