Prime Minister decides to resign amid public protest over COVID-19 patient's treatment

2021-01-21 17:34:31

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Khuresukh Ukhnaa has just announced that he will be stepping down as the Prime Minister of Mongolia. 

Yesterday, January 20, Deputy Prime Minister Ya.Sodbaatar and Minister of Health T.Munkhsaikhan submitted their resignation to the Prime Minister because of public pressure and protests over a mishandling of a relocation of a COVID-19 patient and her newborn baby from maternity hospital to the National Center for Communicable Diseases

When announcing his resignation, Prime Minister Khurelsukh expressed regret for the situation and made an apology on behalf of himself and ‘those officials who failed their responsibility’. 

“The government of Mongolia and the State Emergency Commission had been mobilizing all efforts throughout the period defined by the pandemic, with timely measures of border closures and implementing heightened emergency state. There is no death from COVID-19 yet.”

He further thanked for all civil servants who are tirelessly working during the pandemic and reminded them to improve accountability at all levels and take responsibility if they make mistakes. 

"Two of my cabinet members have decided to resign from their positions. When I first formed this cabinet, I planned to work with the whole team of the cabinet together. Therefore, the Prime Minister should assume the responsibility upon himself and accept the demand from the public.” 

Moreover, Khurelsukh continued that the peaceful protest was extended by political involvement, and the President of Mongolia, who was considered as a reliable partner of the Prime Minister, incited and financed the protest. His decision was made in order to prevent from creating improper relationship between the institutions of President and the government, which could lead to civil unrest, according to him. 

PM Khurelsukh also assured that he is not leaving the politics and will remain committed to establish justice for the Mongolian statehood. 

Noting that the country’s COVID-19 pandemic situation and clusters of infection have been extinguished to a sufficient level, Mr.Khurelsukh highlighted that priority should be given to maintain political stability and protect the population. 

Following his announcement, parliament’s Standing Committee on State Structures discussed and backed Prime Minister’s resignation. Now, the parliament’s plenary session is expected to review the matter shortly. 

If the Prime Minister’s resignation is approved by the parliament, according to the relevant laws, not only Prime Minister Khurelsukh, but also his entire Cabinet will resign. 

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