Despite the country’s continued economic crisis and public concerns about corruption, a nationwide survey of Mongolian voters released three months after the June 2016 elections shows that Mongolians have invested a great deal of faith in the new government and in their democratic system. Derek Luyten, Regional Director- Asia of the Washington-based International Republican Institute NGO, noted, “If the government is to sustain this goodwill, it will need to take effective action to address key issues of concern such as the economy and corruption and commit to working in the interest of all Mongolians.” For the full 41 page report on poll results, CLICK HERE.
Funded by Global Affairs Canada (i.e. Canada’s Foreign Ministry) with the support of Canadian Ambassador Ed Jager, IRI’s poll reflects enthusiasm for the results of the June parliamentary elections. The survey was taken in August, and included in-person interviews with 5000 Mongolians. Of those respondents, 80% said they would vote the same way today as on June 29. More than half are either “very optimistic” (16%) or “somewhat optimistic” (40%) that the newly-elected parliamentarians will fulfill their electoral promises. Similarly, the poll shows a 12-point increase (up to 31% from 19%) of respondents who feel the country is headed in the “right direction,” and a corresponding 14-point decrease (down to 47% from 61%) of those who feel it is headed in the wrong direction.
Forty-five percent of “wrong direction” respondents cited economic instability as the reason; 80 % of all respondents described current economic conditions as “bad” or “very bad.” Corruption continues to be a top concern: 76% consider it to be a major problem. A combined 80% believe that voting gives them the chance to influence decision making (37% “strongly agree,” 43% “somewhat agree”), and the number of respondents who consider democracy more important than prosperity rose 10 points from March 2016 (up to 37% from 27%).
The poll also indicated improvements in perceptions of women’s political participation. The number who “strongly agree” that women are equally represented in political decision-making jumped from 12% to 21%, and those who “somewhat agree” rose from 27% to 35%. However, 40% of those polled noted that the male-dominated political structure remains a barrier to women’s participation in politics.