Altankhuyag, Norov (Mongolia)
Norov Altankhuyag became prime minister in Aug. 2012 after securing 72% support from parliament. His appointment ended weeks of political uncertainty after the Democratic Party failed to win the required seats at the June 2012 elections to form their own government. He left office in Nov. 2014.
Norov Altankhuyag was born on 20 Jan. 1958 in Ulaangom, Uvs Province. After graduating in physics from the National University of Mongolia, he took a teaching position in 1981 at the mathematics and physics department of his alma mater.
In 1990 he was involved in anti-Communist protests and helped to establish the Social Democratic Party, holding key posts including general secretary. He was elected to the Great Hural (the national parliament) in 1996, firstly for the Social Democratic Party and then the Democratic Party. He served as minister of agriculture and industry from 1998–99 and as minister of finance from 2004–06.
Altankhuyag was elected Democratic Party leader on 30 Aug. 2008 after Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj stood down in the aftermath of disputed elections. Altankhuyag also became first deputy prime minister in a coalition government headed by the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP). He served as acting prime minister for 1 day on 28 Oct. 2009 after the incumbent, Sanj Bayar, resigned as a result of ill health. Sukhbaataryn Batbold was sworn in as premier the following day.
At a parliamentary election in June 2012 the Democratic Party won 31 seats. After weeks of negotiations, it formed a coalition with the Justice Coalition, which had come third in the election. On 10 Aug. 2012 Altankhuyag was confirmed as premier at a parliamentary session.
Altankhuyag’s principal challenge was to manage the country’s vast natural resources and secure the confidence of foreign investors while maintaining his fragile coalition between its pro-market Democratic members and the nationalist MPRP wing. He was also confronted with widespread corruption and a disparity in wealth between urban and rural communities.
Faced by decreased foreign investment and a mounting economic crisis exacerbated by collapsing commodity prices, Altankhuyag was ousted from the premiership on 5 Nov. 2014 following a successful parliamentary vote of no-confidence. He was replaced by his deputy Dendevyn Terbishdagva, who took over on an interim basis.