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Mongolia - Elections - 1992 - 2012

Like Eastern European countries, Mongolia has chosen the strong parliament and weak presidential system intended to prevent the resurgence of totalitarian or authoritarian governments that existed previously in those countries. In principle the presidency is less influential than the Prime Minister, though still a powerful position. Between September 1990 and June 2009, Mongolia had only three Presidents, two of whom were re-elected to a second term. During the same period, Monglia had a dozen Prime Ministers, two of whom were subesquently elected President. Despite the apparent weakness of the office, Mongolian politicians themselves clearly esteem the Presidency.

1992 Parliamentary Election

This Election was held in accordance with the majority system in 26 large Districts. In 1992, Parliamentary Elections were held in 26 enlarged Electoral Constituencies with multiple mandates and the voters could vote by the number of mandates. Nationwide, eligible voters totaled 1,085,129 voters, of whom 1,037,392 voters participated in the elections. The participatory rate nationwide was 95.6 percent.

The People’s Revolutionary Party; a coalition of the Mongolian Democratic Party, the United Party and the Mongolian National Development Party; a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party, the People’s Party and the Democratic Party of Mongolian Believers; and the Party of Private Owners all participated in the election. In the results, the Social Democratic Party gained 1 seat, the coalition of the Mongolian Democratic Party, the United Party and the Mongolian National Development Party took 4 seats, an independent candidate obtained 1 seat, and the People’s Revolutionary Party gained 70 seats.

1993 Presidential Election

In June 1993, incumbent Punsalmaagiyn Ochirbat won the first popular presidential election running as the candidate of the democratic opposition. During the first Presidential Election held in 1993, eligible voters totaled 1,106,403, of whom 1,025,970 (one million, twenty-five thousand, nine hundred and seventy) voters, or 92.73 percent, of the total voters participated in the elections and elected the candidate nominated by the DP, P. Ochirbat as the President of Mongolia by casting 592,836 votes in his favor, accounting for 57.78 percent of the total votes. The candidate from the MPRP L. Tudev received votes from 397,061 (three hundred and ninety-seven thousand and sixty-one) voters, respresenting 38.70 percent of the total electorate.

1996 State Grand Khural Election

This Election was held in accordance with the majority system, with 76 Districts containing 1 mandate each. Each Constituency had one mandate to elect one candidate as winner and each voter could cast only one vote. 1,147,269 eligible voters were registered nationwide, of whom 1,057,182 voted in the elections and the total participatory rate was 92,15 percent. The ‘Democratic Alliance’ coalition of the National Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party gained 50 seats, the People’s Revolutionary Party gained 25 seats, and Traditional United Party took 1 seat.

In 1996, a coalition of pro-democracy parties, the Democratic Union Coalition, had supplanted the former communists, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), winning 50 of the 76 seats at stake. The MPRP, which had ruled since 1921, had hoped to continue its domination of the Hural through the establishment of 76 single member, electoral districts in which a plurality could determine the winner. However, the MPRP was beaten by a coalition of democratic parties in June legislative elections. About 90 percent of eligible voters cast ballots; international observers judged the elections to be free and fair. The June 30, 1996 election resulted in peaceful transition of power from former communist party to coalition of democratic parties. Although party politics resulted in four different cabinets, and prolonged political stalemates over the appointment of new prime ministers during the Democratic Coalition’s rule from 1996-2000, these political conflicts were not accompanied by unrest or violence. Sanjaasuren Zorig, a leader of the pro-democracy movement, was brutally killed on October 2, 1998, the same day that he was nominated to become Prime Minister. The case still has not been solved. From 1998-2000, there were four prime ministers and a series of cabinet changes.

The MPRP handed over power and stepped down, in the first transition of power between political parties in Mongolian history. In October 6 local elections, the MPRP succeeded in capturing 14 of 21 provincial assemblies.

1997 Presidential Election

P. Ochirbat from the DP, N. Bagabandi from the MPRP and J. Gombojav from the MTUP stood as candidates for the Presidential Office in the 2nd Presidential Elections in 1997. Some 982,640 voters were registered nationwide and voted in the elections with a participatory rate of 85.06 percent. The MPRP candidate became the President of Mongolia winning with votes from 597,573 voters, representing 60.81 percent of the total electorate, followed by the candidate from the DP P. Ochirbat who received 292,896 votes, or 29.81 percent, of the total votes, and the candidate from the MTUP J. Gombojav who received 65,201 votes, or 6,64 percent, of the total votes.

2000 State Grand Khural Election

In early 2000, the Democratic Coalition dissolved. In the Parliamentary Election of 2000, a large number of parties and coalitions participated. More than 600 candidates representing 13 parties, three coalitions and independent platforms took part in the 02 July 2000 elections. Economic problems, especially slow economic growth, were the main focus in the electoral campaign. Despite an aggressive policy (reduction of the inflation, introduction of a five-day working week, abolition of State control of the country's media and a major privatisation scheme) conducted by the Democratic Union Coalition, trends in the previous four years seem to have worked against the coalition.

After the 2000 elections, the new Parliament looks more or less the same as in 1992: the MPRP won 72 out of 76 seats. The July 2, 2000 election resulted in victory for the former communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP); first-past-the-post electoral system enabled MPRP, with 52% of the popular vote, to win 95% of the parliamentary seats; formation of new government by Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar. The People’s Revolutionary Party gained 72 seats, the ‘Democratic Alliance’ coalition of the National Democratic Party and Democratic Party of Mongolian Believers took 1 seat, the ‘Civil Will-Green Party’ coalition of the Civil Will Party and the Green Party gained 1 seat, and an independent candidate took 1 seat.

2001 Presidential Election

In the Presidential Elections of 2001, the candidates N. Bagabandi from MPRP, R. Gonchigdorj from the DP and L. Dashnyam from the CWP competed for office, with some 1,205,885 voters being registered nationwide, of whom 1,000,110 voters, or 82.94 percent, voted in the elections. The MPRP candidate N. Bagabandi won with 581,381 votes, or 58.13 percent, of the total votes and was re-elected as President of Mongolia. The candidate from the DP, R. Gonchigdorj, received 365,363 votes, or 36.53 percent, of the total votes and the candidate from the CWP L. Dashnyam received 35,425 votes, or 3.54 percent, of the total votes.

2004 State Grand Khural Election

On 27 June 2004, general elections were held for all the 76 seats in the State Great Hural (Parliament). The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), Republican Party, Mongolian Green Party, Mongolian National Coalition Party, Mongolian Liberal Party, Mongolian Traditional United Party and Motherland Democratic Coalition (MDC) - formed by the Civil Will Republican Party, the Mongolian Democratic Party and the Mongolian New Democratic Socialist Party, - contested the elections, together with some independent candidates. The MPRP dominated the electoral campaign with an estimated 90 per cent of political advertising, saturating the airwaves and blanketing the capital, Ulan Bator, in campaign posters, while the MDC put on a very low-key campaign avoiding glitzy rallies, TV ads and street billboards. The opposition made a remarkable advance, obtaining 34 seats. The MPRP won 36 seats, independent candidates 3 and the Republican Party 1 seat.

In the 2004 Parliamentary Elections, the People’s Revolutionary Party took 36 seats, the ‘Motherland-Democracy’ coalition took 36 seats, the Republican Party took 1 seat and independent candidates gained 3 seats.

The Motherland-Democracy Coalition was formed in early 2004 to contest the parliamentary election. The election on June 27, 2004 resulted in roughly 50/50 split of parliamentary seats between former communist party and democratic opposition and formation of new government by Prime Minister Ts. Elbegdorj (Democratic Party). The MPRP suffered a huge defeat, going from absolute domination of Parliament with 72 of 76 seats to the slimmest of pluralities with 37 seats. The DP won 35 seats and independents claimed four. The DP, along with the independents, used this apparent mandate to block the MPRP at every turn. Consequently, an unsettled political situation ensued until 2008, all but halting progress on major legislation and projects, including on mining projects. A divided Parliament produced divided government.

Enkhbayar became President in June 2005. On 02 August 2005, the MPRP and Democratic Party agreed to continue the Grand Coalition Government for a full four years. The agreement resolved what had been a mounting political crisis in the preceding week, and also eases uncertainties caused by the December 2004 dissolution of the Motherland-Democracy Coalition (MDC). The August 2 pact largely revalidated the August 2004 agreement between the MPRP and MDC, with a few new provisions. Under the August 2 agreement, the Democratic Party gained the right to form its own caucus in the State Great Hural (SGH); MDC members had become independents after the MDC's collapse. In another change, the MPRP and the Democratic Party agreed that, in any parliamentary by-election, the party which won the seat in June 2004 would not face a challenge from the other party. Prime Minister Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party accordingly withdrew from the Ulaanbaatar-area by-election to be held August 28. While the by-election was still held with a number of candidates, Elbegdorj's withdrawal cleared the way for UB Mayor M. Enkhbold, the new MPRP party chairman, to easily win election to the seat vacated by N. Enkhbayar.

A series of weak coalitions assumed the reigns of power; but lacking a solid parliamentary base, none of these governments was willing to risk the wrath of MPs or the public. MPRP ministers resigned from the government in January 2006, and the government dissolved. A new coalition government was formed, led by the MPRP with the participation of four smaller parties. but in October 2007 the MPRP ousted its leader, Prime Minister M. Enkhbold, who resigned as Prime Minister. The new leader of the MPRP, Sanjaagiin Bayar, became Prime Minister and formed a new cabinet. Bayar's cabinet was approved in December 2007.

2005 Presidential Election

In May 2005 the country elected the then Speaker Nambar Enkhbayar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) as the new President. The formerly communist MPRP which had ruled the country since independence from China in 1921 had regained power in 2000 after four years of rule by the Motherland-Democracy Coalition (MDC). In the Presidential Elections of 2005, candidates from political parties with seats in the State Great Khural, including N. Enkhbayar from the MPRP, M. Enkhsaikhan from the DP, B. Erdenebat from the Mongolian People’s New Socialist Party (Motherland Party) and U. Jargalsaikhan from the Republican Party, competed for votes. Eligible voters nationwide totaled 1,236,733, of whom 871,667 voters, or 70.48 percent, of the total electorate participated in the elections.

2008 State Grand Khural Election

The 29 June 2008 elections were the fifth to be held since the introduction of the multi-party system in 1990. The elections were contested by 12 political parties including the MPRP and the DP. Prior to the 2008 elections the MPRP government was dogged by allegations of official corruption and misconduct. In May Mr. Gündalai left the PP and re-joined the DP and most PP members ran under the DP banner. With more than 10 per cent of Mongolia's 2.7 million inhabitants living on less than one US dollar per day according to figures from the United Nations modernizing the country's agriculture-based economy has been a top priority. Prime Minister Bayar's MPRP promised greater prosperity through 10 per cent economic growth and boosting GDP per capita to US$5 000 by 2012 (from US$2 900 in 2007). The MPRP also promised to improve the welfare system and provide subsidies to families single mothers and the poor. In 2008, Parliamentary Elections were held in 11 enlarged Electoral Constituencies, with multiple mandates. This was the first election to take place under a new election law enacted in 2005. Under the new system, the maximum number of candidates elected from any single electoral district ranged from two to four based upon the district’s population.

Among voters, strict supporters of political parties account for 60 percent, ‘swing’ voters account for approximately 28 percent, ‘inactive’ voters who do not participate in elections account for 12 percent and ‘new voters’ who have reached voting age account for 5 percent. However, many citizens living and working in foreign countries were not able to participate in elections. Since the passing of the new Constitution, there have been 40 political parties. Although political power had been in the hands of the two main parties, namely, the People’s Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Parties’ Coalition, other parties collaborated with these two.

International observers believed that the elections process was basically sound, and its reported results most likely reflected the general will of Mongolia’s citizens. The results of parliament elections in july 2008 caused riots in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Demonstratiors attacked and burned the main building of Mongolian Revolution Party, the winner of election. Two days after parliamentary elections, and 1 day after the ruling MPRP claimed a landslide victory, on July 1, 2008 a sizeable protest outside the MPRP headquarters turned violent. The MPRP headquarters was burned beyond repair and clashes between civilians and security forces left at least five people dead, 13 missing, hundreds injured and hundreds in police detention. President N. Enkhbayar declared a 4-day state of emergency, imposing a curfew, a ban on public gatherings, and a broadcast-news blackout (apart from the state broadcaster).

In July and August 2008 newly elected members of parliament from the opposition Democratic Party refused to take the oath of office, demanding, among other things, that the nine-member General Election Commission resign for alleged electoral irregularities.

In October-November 2009 Prime Minister Sanjaagiin Bayar resigned for health reasons, and Foreign Minister Sukhbaatariin Batbold was selected as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Batbold largely retained former Prime Minister Bayar's cabinet, with only a few changes. Parliamentary elections were next scheduled for June 24-28, 2012.

2009 Presidential Election

In the 24 May 2009 presidential election incumbent President N. Enkhbayar was the MPRP nominee and Ts. Elbegdorj was the DP candidate. The Green Party and the Civil Will Party opted to forego fielding their own candidates and formally agreed to support the DP. The consensus view among analysts was that the MPRP's Enkhbayar would win in a close election with high turn-out. However, the DP was optimistic and eager to avenge the hotly disputed parliamentary elections of last summer.

On 24 May 2009 former Prime Minister and Democratic Party legislator Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj was elected as President of Mongolia in free and fair elections. Elbegdorj defeated Nambaryn Enkhbayar in this first instance in Mongolia of an incumbent losing a presidential election. The loss was not followed by accusations of fraud or bad faith, but rather by a peaceful transfer of power characterized by the timely and gracious concession of President Enkhbayar. This was also the first election as president of a Democratic Party candidate. The outcome of the May 24 presidential election was a major step in the burnishing of Mongolia's democratic credentials.

2012 State Grand Khural Election

In December 2010 the MPRP changed its name to the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), and in June 2011 Former President Enkhbayar founded a new party with the name “MPRP” in response to the MPP’s decision to drop the word “Revolutionary.”

The ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party split in November 2010 after it changed its name to the Mongolian People's Party and stated that it would become a centre-left social democratic party. In elections 28 June 2012, the opposition Democratic Party (DP) became the largest party in parliament, taking 35 of the 76 seats at stake. The use of mining revenue to create jobs and narrowing the gap between rich and poor were the main campaign issues. The DP formed a coalition government with the "Justice Coalition", comprising the new Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian National Democratic Party, and Civil Will Republican Party (CWRP) - Green Party.

Following the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Democratic Party (DP; led by Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag) won 34 of the 76 seats in parliament, the Justice Coalition (led by former President Nambaryn Enkhbayar) 3 won 11, and the Civil Will–Green Party (CWGP; led by MP and Minister for Environment and Green Development Sanjaasurengiin Oyun) won 2. These parties formed the government coalition. The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which won 26 seats, is in opposition.

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Page last modified: 19-07-2021 18:26:17 ZULU