Mongolia Sudden Conversion

Ulan Bator leaps on the reform bandwagon as dissent rises

The leaders of Mongolia's Communist Party have been slow to put their faith in shinechiel (renewal). But once convinced, they have proved fervent converts. Last week the party that has ruled the remote republic for 66 years abolished its monopoly on power, promised multiparty elections by year's end and replaced the entire five-member Politburo with a younger, more progressive slate. Said Foreign Ministry spokesman Tepbishiin Chimeddorj: "This is the beginning of real change."

The overnight revolution in Mongolia was an astonishing victory for the country's nascent opposition, which went public with its campaign for democratization only three months ago. The forces...

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