July 2020 \ News \ Mongolia—column

2020 Parliamentary Elections in Mongolia ...

By Chanravyn Burenbayar

Was this election any different from the previous ones?

The elections were held, despite warning and urging by the President of the country to postpone them, when the country was in lockdown due to Covid-19, and when the entire world was in the grips of this deadly pandemic. The General Election Commission, very early on promised that it would ensure voting is carried out in strict compliance with rules and procedures of safety, social distancing, and proper sanitization during the pandemic, but it’s early to say if there has been any “community transmission,” as the country today has a reported 217 cases, all only “imported.”

606 candidates ran for the 76 seats in the Parliament, the largest number of candidates ever, and also a whooping number of independent candidates –208, three times more than in the 2016 elections. But from these 208 only one independent candidate was elected. He is Mr. Norovyn Altankhuyag, a former DP leader and former Prime Minister of Mongolia (2012-2014). Mr. N. Altankhuyag apparently could not agree with the policy and actions of the incumbent DP chairperson Mr. S.Erdene and similarly like a handful of top DP leaders ran on an independent ticket, which proved to be a lucky one for him.

One article in the Parliamentary Election Law reads that “Not less than 20 per cent of the candidates being nominated from a party or a coalition, shall be one of gender,” which indirectly implies female candidates. 151 or 24.92 percent of the 606 candidates this year were women, who this year comprised more than 25 percent of all the candidates. An important contributor to this was the Party of the Masses, 23 or 77 percent of its 30 candidates was women.

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