Mongolia - Leadership

Enkhbayar describes himself as a moderate reformist who has modeled his leadership style after British prime minister, Tony Blair, pointing to Blair's reinvention of labor leadership as an inspiration. He also looks to German chancellor Gerhard Schröder's overhaul of the German Social Democratic regime as he revamps the image of the MPRP after nearly 70 years of communist rule. In fact, after the election, the MPRP adopted the red rose, traditionally symbolic of a European socialist or social democratic party, as its emblem. While Enkhbayar comes across as more of a European-styled socialist than a


hardline communist, he took pains immediately following his election to distance himself from his more conservative predecessors. Enkhbayar describes his party as being just left of center. A devout Buddhist, he further defines the MPRP's path as the "middle" way.

Former communists, however, accuse the previous government of serving only small groups of business people and politicians. Even though Enkhbayar strives to appear "hip," appealing to younger generations of voters, he may have a harder time convincing more traditional members of his own party. Enkhbayar remains a strong proponent of privatization but favors a slower transition toward capitalism.

Enkhbayar was elected on a platform that includes strong consideration for environmental issues, promotion of a free press and population growth, and attracting foreign investment. Under his leadership, new government programs focus on improving social welfare, rural development and the protection of domestic industry through measures such as a 10% import tax.

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