MONGOLIAN ELECTIONS

August 1st, 2012 by

A report from ALAN SANDERS ON THE MONGOLIAN ELECTIONS – 28 June 2012

The Mongolian Great Khural Election 2012

The 2012 general election to the 76-seat Mongolian Great Khural (national assembly) was held on 28 June, 48 seats being contested in 26 constituencies by simple majority vote and 28 seats being filled for the first time from party lists by proportional representation of parties winning seats. Also for the first time, voting and ballot-counting machines were used in all constituencies.

Altogether 11 political parties and two coalitions were represented by 544 candidates including Independents. The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), Democratic Party (DP) and the Justice coalition of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP) fielded a candidate for each seat, while smaller parties did not contest all seats. One Ulan Bator constituency listed 28 candidates, while a rural constituency in eastern Mongolia listed only six.

According to the General Election Committee, 1,198,086 people voted, 65.24% of registered voters, with 35.32% of votes going to the DP, 31.31% to the MPP, 22.31% to Justice and 5.51% to the Civil Courage Green Party (CCGP). Prominent MPP losers in the election included the Ministers of External Relations Zandanshatar and Mineral Resources Zorigt.

The official election result was presented to President Elbegdorj on 4 July. The DP won the most votes in 22 elected seats, the MPP 19, Justice 4, and Independents 3. With names added from the party lists under proportional representation, the DP totalled 32 seats, MPP 28, Justice 11, CCGP 2 and Independents 3. The party lists were headed by the party leaders, Altankhuyag (DP), Batbold (MPP) and Oyuun (CCGP); the Justice list was headed by Ulaan.

However, in Ulan Bator’s three-seat Bayanzürkh and Songinokhairkhan constituencies the candidates in third place (one MPP and one DP) did not receive the minimum 28% of the constituency ballot required. They are due to hold new contests against the candidates in fourth place in their constituency (both MPP). Moreover, the President disallowed pending investigation the results in Övörkhangai constituency, where the two MPP winners have been challenged over alleged inducements for voters. The outgoing MPP group leader in the Khural, Enkhtüvshin, responded that the MPP would boycott parliament, but he was overruled by MPP Chairman Batbold.

Thus the names of 72 new members were endorsed, although when they took the MP’s oath of office at the Mongolian Great Khural on 6 July, only 69 were present. Three Justice candidates refused to take the oath until MPRP Chairman Enkhbayar’s petition to the Constitutional Commission received a final decision on the General Election Committee’s refusal to register his candidacy. The commission said this morning that it had postponed taking a decision.

To govern, a party needs at least 39 seats in the Khural, so the DP will have to form a coalition. The DP and MPP have formed coalition governments before, in 2004-6 and 2008-11, the latter ending six months before this election. Both the MPP and Justice have said that they are available. The leaders of Justice are ex-President Nambaryn Enkhbayar (MPRP) and ex-Prime Minister Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan (MNDP). At a press conference this morning DP Chairman Altankhuyag said that a coalition with Justice was under consideration, and the party’s National Consultative Committee would meet to discuss the matter after the Naadam holiday. Meanwhile, MPP Chairman Batbold remains Prime Minister until the new government can be formed. The Khural will next meet on 16 July.

Elections to Ulan Bator city’s 45-seat council were held on the same day as the general election; previously they were held in the autumn, together with local elections. The DP won with 20 candidates elected against 10 for the MPP by majority vote for 30 seats, proportional representation of elected parties bringing the totals to DP 26, MPP 14, Justice 4 and CCGP 1 seat. Former Khural member Bat-Üül, who headed the DP party list and has been elected chairman of Ulan Bator DP, is likely to be chosen as the next governor and mayor of Mongolia’s capital city, formerly an MPP citadel.

Alan Sanders, Mongolist, 9 July 2012