Former Prime Minister S. Bayar prolonged illness and absence has led to increasing pressure from various sections of the MPRP on the party’s administrative board to set a date for a general conference where a new chairman will be chosen.

S. Bayar, who retained the party chairmanship after resigning from his functions of Prime Minister, has made no political statement in recent days, except to say that the coalition government must run its full course. However, a party conference is quite likely to decide against the coalition in his absence.

Furthermore, the search for a new party leader has already begun and current Prime Minister S. Batbold seems to stands the best chances. Traditionally, the two posts have always been held by the same person, but S. Bayar’s resignation as Prime Minister was so much of a shock for the party that his decision to retain the chairmanship was accepted.

Among those eyeing the party chairmanship are Vice Prime Minister M. Enkhbold, Minister for Internal Affairs Ts. Nyamdorj, ex-president N. Enkhbayar, and Secretary General U. Khurelsukh.

Enkhbold has little support within the party generally but has men in key places and the financial resources to run a successful campaign. Khurelsukh has been quite active in recent weeks and has a strong following among workers at the middle and low levels of the party. His rise may presage a return to the pre-democracy days of the party.