In the June 29 parliamentary and aimag (provincial) elections, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) decisively ousted the ruling Democratic Party (DP) by winning landslide super-majorities in the 76 member unicameral State Great Khural, and majorities in 20 of the 21 aimag legislatures, including the Ulaanbaatar City Khural. The MPP captured 65 of 76 seats in the State Great Khural (SGK), winning an 85% super-majority, the largest party majority since 2000, when the MPP won 72 of 76 seats. Many of the most outspoken “resource nationalist” MPs were defeated. The MPP fielded a candidate mix of fresh new talent and experienced MPP veterans, running on a platform promising encouragement of FDI, policy stability, alleviation of poverty and professional management of fiscal affairs. Transition to a new MPP government has been peaceful and cooperative, consistent with Mongolia’s democratic tradition for the past 26 years. DP Chairman Z. Enkhbold, who is also SGK Chairman, made a gracious and early concession statement and said he assumed full responsibility for the DP’s losses.
The new parliament is expected to elect a new parliament chairman (i.e. speaker) and prime minister swiftly, although filling out the cabinet roster may take more time. Events associated with Naadam, the national holiday of nine days, start July 7, will be followed immediately by Mongolia hosting the 11th Asia Europe Summit Meeting (ASEM) of heads of government and heads of state of 55 European and Asian nations, July 12-16.
Ulaanbaatar is home to about half of the nation’s three million population; the MPP won 34 of the 45 seats on the city council, reversing the two-thirds majority won by the DP in 2012. The city council elects the mayor. Incumbent Mayor E. Bat-Uul (DP), who was reelected to his own council seat, likened the election to a “tsunami,” joking to reporters that the incumbent DP government had become so broadly and deeply unpopular that if the MPP “had nominated a sheep for parliament, he would have been elected.”
The MPP took 65 of 76 seats in the State Great Khural, the largest party majority since 2000, when the MPP ousted the Democratic Party, which had gone into the 2000 election with 50 of 76 seats. Although media pundits had been predicting an MPP win or plurality, few predicted the extent of the MPP’s massive victory. The DP won nine seats, down from 34, and will become the official opposition party. Although the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), a break-away splinter group from the MPP headed by former President N. Enkhbayar, had controlled 12 seats after the 2012 election, this time they were reduced to only one seat. One independent candidate won a seat, down from three independents elected in 2012.
UB City Mayor E.Bat-Uul prohibited protest rallies in Sukhbaatar Square and other parts of the city for 17 days starting from June 29, which will prevent political demonstrations through Naadam and the 11th ASEM Summit. The ban may have been intended to avoid the brief and unusual political violence that erupted in UB on July 1, 2008, after disputed parliamentary elections. Exempt from the ban are public events organized by the national government or city administration for Naadam or ASEM.