Political Indepedence

By Julian Dierkes
Reminder:
We strive to be politically neutral. As we will be writing more about the 2017 presidential election, bear in mind that neutrality does not mean that we do not discuss proposals, campaign materials, etc., including occasionally citing candidates directly. Such citations, and embedded media are not an endorsement of any candidate over another.
For a more detailed and transparent discussion of academic independence, see above under “About” > “About Julian Dierkes” in English and Mongolian.

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Choosing Balance

By Julian Dierkes

At first glance (including my initial thoughts some weeks ago), it would seem that last year’s MPP triumph in the parliamentary election should make M Enkhbold, the MPP’s candidate, the clear favourite in this year’s presidential election.

He has been party chairman for some time, led the MPP into last year’s election, installed J Erdenebat as prime minister last summer and has served as UIX chairman since then. The sheer scale of the election victory last year should really speak to voters’ preference for Enkhbold’s leadership.

But Not So Fast…

  1. Did voters really elect the MPP last year? Many of them probably threw the DP out of office more than that they chose the MPP.
  2. M Enkhbold does not seem to be particularly popular. He is certainly not very charismatic, but many voters simply don’t seem to warm up to him very much. He seems fairly wooden and doesn’t display any obvious empathy with many voters. This lack of popularity is more important in the presidential contest than in the parliamentary election because this is a direct election of a single person. Even with the majoritarian voting system employed last year, voters were selecting MPs as part of a party and potential government. In the presidential election, they are directly electing a person as president, making personality and personal characteristics perhaps more important.
  3. In speaking to (a very much not random sample of) campaign activists and workers, the enthusiasm for his candidacy even in the MPP seems relatively low. It might also be the generally low-energy nature of the campaign so far (the fact that DP and MPRP activists are also not enthused about their candidates speaks to that), but that seems especially true of the MPP which should be self-confident and delighted in their current political dominance.
  4. There are few distinctions between the party platforms (scroll through http://blogs.ubc.ca/mongolia/category/politics/elections/presidential-2017/ to read summaries of the platforms and also some analyses), making personality even more important as a criterion.
  5. But, in addition, given their lack of any particular enthusiasm for the MPP last year, some voters may consider it important to balance the current political dominance of the MPP and a vote against Enkbold (Battulga, Ganbaatar or a blank/spoiled ballot) in the first and second rounds might be exactly that. So, perhaps voters will choose another candidate not as an endorsement of that person or their platform, but simply as not-MPP.

It is totally unclear to what numerical portion of the electorate some such reasoning might apply and what impact it will have on turnout or the result, but it is a logic that several Mongolians have articulated to me recently.

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The Diplomat Articles on Presidential Election

By Julian Dierkes and Mendee

We’ve written two posts in The Diplomat that looked at different aspects of the presidential election:

  1. Julian Dierkes “The Race for Mongolia’s Presidency Begins“, June 6
  2. Julian Dierkes and Mendee J “Election 2017: Making Mongolia Great Again?“, June 20
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Allegations Against All Candidates

By Julian Dierkes

One of the recurring challenges in trying to keep up with political developments in Mongolia is the extent to which these developments seem to be driven by rumours and accusations.

That is especially the case during an election.

What I continue to find very odd in this context is that allegations often do not seem to be examined as to their basic plausibility as they are repeated in the public.

In my remarks below, I do not claim that any of the allegations are unfounded or that individuals against whom they are levelled are innocent. I simply do not have the resources to really investigate any of these allegations and can only hope that Mongolian journalists and civil society will continue to intensify their activities in this regard.

In the past week, allegations against all three candidates have been made and have coloured the campaign. I look at these allegations to consider whether they appear to be plausible at all.

I ask these questions in good faith, not to bias any views about any of the presidential candidates, but as a comment on the campaign and the way it is unfolding. See also, my statement on my independence as an observer of developments in Mongolia.

Ganbaatar’s Moonies

A video is circulating that allegedly shows MPRP candidate S Ganbaatar receiving ₩50m (₮100m) from someone associated with the Korean Unification Church.

I do not have the technical resources to investigate the authenticity of the recording.

But I have to note that this is the third campaign in a row (if I recall correctly) that alleged funding from the Unification Church surfaces in Mongolia. The last two times these allegations involved Elbegdorj.

Some questions:

  • Did anyone ever follow up on these allegations after the campaign and find out whether there is concrete evidence?
  • What interest does the Unification Church have in Mongolian elections? Is there a plausible argument that would see them funding Ganbaatar’s campaign?

  • Given past allegations about Elbegdorj, would Ganbaatar not be especially careful in interactions with the Unification Church?
  • Would the amount alleged to have been exchanged be enough for Ganbaatar to consider compromising his reputation and integrity?

Battulag’s Offshore Account

DP candidate Kh Battulga’s reputation is perhaps even worse than that of most Mongolian politicians in terms of mixing personal profit with government business.

With the release of the Panama Papers last year and the appearance of a handful of Mongolian names in them, offshore accounts have increasingly been demonized even though it is unclear whether they are primarily suspected of serving as tax havens (not that plausible given Mongolia’s 10% flat tax until the IMF demanded a more progressive income tax), or as evidence for corruption. Anyone who is wealthy in Mongolia, of course, would be likely to hold a significant portion of their wealth in currencies other than the Tugrik given the Mongolian currency’s weakness over the past several years.

Battulga’s reputation and the discussion of offshore accounts makes it a plausible allegation that Battulga holds US$1.1b in offshore accounts.

But…

Wait a second. Mongolia’s GDP is somewhere around US$12b. Could Battulag’s wealth really amount to the equivalent of 1/10 of the country’s GDP? Given the rapid growth of Mongolian GDP over recent years, it’s not very plausible to think of the accumulation of such wealth from compounded financial income or investments of earlier gains. In his recent statement on earnings, Battulga only reported holdings in meat processing and tourism. Those businesses do not contribute 10% to Mongolia’s GDP and I do not see any particular reason that these would be sectors that are so overvalued or so massively profitable that they would produce massive wealth.

But the amount of wealth that is reported to be held by Mongolians is a question that would need further investigation as well. Is it in line with the relation between GDP and reported wealth in other countries, for example? If it is, then perhaps the US$1.1b figure would become more plausible.

Also, some of Mongolia’s other purported mega-wealthy (e.g. Odjargal of MCS) might have something to say about Battulga’s industrial enterprises claiming any significant fraction of GDP.

Of course, offshore holdings are not the same as a share of holdings of GDP, but the money would have to have come from somewhere.

So, if there is a $1.1b fortune out there, Battulga’s statement on his holdings and earnings can’t possibly be true.

But…

Where does this $1.1b figure come from in the first place. It appears to be reported on a website called wealthx.com for the year 2015.

Is this plausible? Here are some of the elements that make me wonder:

There are very few references to the wealthx reporting in the mainstream press and no references I could find at all in academic writing.

The website of wealthx is very sparse. It offers nearly no information about the company, other than that it is relatively clear that it is a consultancies that seems to sell “access” to überwealthy individuals.

Most worryingly to me as a social scientist, there is not even a hint of a discussion of methodology. There are some vague references to research, but what kind of research? Could it be that vein wannabe-billionaires self-report their fabulous net-worth here? Could Battuga’s industrial-sized vanity (yes, he did build a 40m-tall statue of Chinggis Khaan) have gotten the better of him and he reported his fortune as over $1b?

I have written to wealthx to try to learn more about their methodology but have yet to receive a response.

And what is even reported here? “Estimated net worth”. There is nothing about offshore accounts in that term. Yes, as I mentioned above, someone who did have significant amounts of cash in Mongolia would probably convert this to other currencies and likely hold this outside the country (and there’s nothing illegal or nefarious about that), but “offshore accounts” specifically as convoluted constructions of shell companies, etc. that are hidden on exotic islands to avoid taxes? Not mentioned here.

And, net worth does not mean cash, it means what his holdings are worth. Clearly, again, the holdings reported in his recent declarations are not worth $1b, they may not even be worth $10m.

Again, either his recent statements are wrong or this $1.1b figure is wrong.

None of this is conclusive in any way and others who have access to more detailed financial reporting in Mongolia and more resources to investigate may come to better conclusions, but for myself, I have to conclude that neither the US$1.1b offshore allegation is plausible, nor is Battulga’s income statement.

Enkhbold’s₮60b

Ah yes, the millions and billions are being tossed around fairly liberally.

The current allegation against MPP candidate M Enkhbold is actually an “old” one, in that it stems from a recording of an alleged conversation involving Enkhbold about party finances and how the sale of high offices in the MPP government could be used to gain funding (namely,₮60b). A small part of this recording was released during the parliamentary election last year. [Note, that I am not trying to provide a full account of this allegation here, but rather look at its basic plausibility.]

Most people find it quite plausible that offices are being sold, in fact most Mongolians I speak to about this, assume that this is going on, irrespective of party in power. That, of course, is outrageous and shocking in and of itself. But the allegation is plausible on the face of it.

At the same time, I would have to say that from my personal perspective if there actually is evidence of the involvement of a party leader in the sale of offices, that would certainly disqualify that person from any political leadership position in my eyes.

But…

The whole context of this allegation is complicated and casts doubt on its credibility that will have to be dispelled by further investigations, investigations that I, again, have no resources for.

The self-styled whistleblower, G Dorjzodov, has been doubted by some, though that happens to all whistleblowers, almost by definition, and does not by any stretch mean that he is not credible.

Why were these allegations not investigated further during the past year? [See paragraph on “media” below.] They were to some extent, but a court seems to have concluded that there was no definitive evidence that the voices on the recording are genuine.

Now, additional materials have been released, but those will also need verification.

With these allegations, I would thus conclude that they are at least basically plausible, but that they require much more serious investigation of the recording and of the parties involved.

Dirty Campaign

These allegations are partly just evidence for how dirty the current campaign is.

Any views on mild austerity imposed by the IMF? We don’t know, that is not being discussed.

How to achieve growth that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable? The parties are not going to tell Mongolians.

Does anyone have workable solutions to Ulaanbaatar’s winter-time air pollution catastrophe?

Instead much energy and resources is being spent on looking for dirt on the other candidates and amplifying any discoveries.

Impact

I have to wonder whether all these revelations have any impact on Mongolian voters. Are they not sick of endless revelations with ever-more outrageous amounts of money? When the allegations fly in all directions, does that not simply give credence to a view that sees Mongolian parties as  fundamentally corrupt?

Of course it is idle to speculate on this, since we will not know on what basis Mongolians will cast their ballot on June 26.

Media

The fact that allegations of this sort are so massively amplified does make me wonder about the role of the media. It seems like most media outlets content themselves with shouting about allegations rather than investigating them. Or, they are so shackled by the funds they receive from parties, companies and others to safeguard against negative reporting about these “donors”, that they will not investigate these allegations.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. I very much hope that a different kind of journalistic ethic continues to grow beyond few examples like MongolTV’s E Lkhagva and D Jargal “de Facto”, so that the public’s interest is served by investigating the wrong-doing of officials by providing credible and concrete evidence.

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Post-Election Timelines

By Julian Dierkes

There seems to be a strong possibility that none of the three candidates will achieve a majority of votes in the first round. Elsewhere I’ve written more about specifics regarding blank ballots, etc.

Second Round

What’s the schedule on which a second round might unfold?

§147.1 of election law says that GEC submits determination of whether majority has been obtained within 10 days of end of election day.

That suggests any time between June 27 and July 6.

§148.2 says that re-election has to be announced within week after decision.

At the earliest that would mean June 27 announcement. At the latest, that would be July 13. I haven’t found a paragraph that specifies a minimum number of days between the announcement and the carrying out of the second round.

Presumably, the government would want the second round to happen as early as possible to maintain a distance from naadam when turnout might drop significantly.

Oddly, these timelines seem to be contradicted by §105.2 which reads,

The central election authority shall set and announce the second round date within 14 days after the first polling day, and organize thereof.

Quorum

Another twist in the timeline may be the requirement that each polling station has a minimum turnout of 50%.

§106 Additional Polling

§106.1 If more than 50 percent of all voters registered on the list of voters registered on the list of voters in a constituency fail to engage in the polling, additional polling shall be held in each constituency.

§106.2 […]

§106.3 Additional polling shall be held within a week after the decision thereon is made.

§106.4 A decision to hold additional polling shall specify polling station location, date and time of additional polling, and that polling shall be held on weekends.

§106.5 Voters who did not engage in the first polling and are registered on the list of voters shall be entitled to engage in additional polling and cast their votes.

§106.6 Attendance and the number of votes of those who engaged in additional polling shall be added to the attendance and the number of votes of those who engaged in the first polling to determine the sum of all voters of the election precinct.

In a situation where there is additional polling required as per §106.1, does that further delay a decision about a second round as per §147.1? So if additional elections are held on July 1/2 that would push a second round further back, again towards naadam.

Conclusion

In the end, I’m not entirely sure about timelines especially if some precincts will require additional polling and/or a second round is necessary…

Acknowledgement

As with a previous post, this post benefited from a Twitter exchange with Iveelt Ts.

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The Likelihood of Constitutional Reform

By Julian Dierkes

The likelihood of constitutional reform in Mongolia is primarily determined by party politics at the moment.

Discussions of the constitution have been active in recent years. I have written about the extent to which the campaign platforms seem to ignore these discussions.

But how likely is it that constitutional reform will be taken up after the election?

Recalibrating the Balance of Power Between Presidency and Parliament

One of the main topics of discussions about constitutional reform is some kind of re-balancing of power between parliament and the presidency. This suggests two clear options, i.e. a turn toward a (more) parliamentary or a (more) presidential democracy. Generally, current discussions seem to favour an expansion of the powers of parliament.

Of course, the MPP comfortably owns the 2/3 majority of MPs that is required to initiate constitutional changes by sending them to a popular vote. 65 of 76 seats? No problem!

As current party chair and UIX chairman, M Enkhbold controls the legislative agenda of the governing MPP. But, should he be elected as president, he has to relinquish his status as party chairman, nay even member of the party.

What Would Happen Under President Enkhbold?

If he wins the presidency, there will be a significant battle in the MPP over control of the party. Obviously, Enkhbold would want a close associate in that role to coordinate presidential policy with parliamentary and government decisions. But, it is far from clear that such a close associate will win out in the leadership contest in the MPP. Party leaders have typically also been the prime minister, so that could be an additional battle that would ensue.

Even if an Enkhbold associate were to win out in these battles, this would not guarantee that proposals for constitutional reforms would strengthen the presidency as President Enkhbold would undoubtedly prefer. By the same token, it seems unlikely that a non-Enkhbold party leader would open pursue a curtailment of the powers of an MPP president.

And What Might Happen Under President GanTulga?

In the seemingly unlikely event of a Ganbaatar or Battulga victory, it seems almost certain that parliament would pursue constitutional reform very quickly in order to curtail the powers of that particular president.

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Blank Ballots as Protest

By Julian Dierkes

There does seem to be a significant level of frustration among Mongolian voters about the choices presented to them in this election. With allegations about very serious misconduct (if tape recording of Enkhbold discussing price list for positions is true, that is an outrageous, blatant form of corruption that rots the very core of government work and policy! Other allegations also very serious), this frustration may be mounting even more.

If the “dark campaigning” leads to more frustration among voters that might have a number of consequences in the election.

The most obvious is that turnout might drop. For it to drop below the 50% minimum seems unlikely though not impossible. The lowest recorded turnout by aimag in the 2013 presidential election was Dornod with 60.74% for example.

Elsewhere, I have discussed what implications turnout might have generally for the election.

Another option for voters to register their displeasure with the candidates is to submit blank ballots.

I have been trying to figure out what impact blank ballots might have if they are submitted in large numbers.

The relevant paragraphs of the election law (as unofficially translated by the General Election Commission and distributed to election observers) seem to be §99 and §147.

Here is how they appear in the unofficial translation:
Chapter Twelve
Tabulation, Consolidation of Polling Results
Subchapter One
Vote Counting
§99 Invalidation of vote and ballot papers.

§99.1 The following votes shall be deemed spoiled: […]

§99.2 If a voter made no mark on the ballot paper, it shall be deemed to be a vote cast in support of nobody and a valid ballot paper. {This article was amended on May 5, 2016 by law}

Chapter Seventeen
Presidential Election
Subchapter Three
Election Results
§147 Pass a Law Recognizing the President’s Powers

§147.1 The central election authority shall deem the candidate who has obtained a majority of all votes cast in the primary voting elected as the President and submit its decision […] within 10 days after the polling day ends.

§147.2 […]

Subchapter Four
Re-election
§148 Cancellation of a primary polling and re-election

§148.1 If no presidential candidate obtained the majority vote in the second polling [this must be a mistake, should be “primary”], the central election authority shall deem the primary polling cancelled.

§148.2 If the central election authority deemed the primary polling cancelled due to no presidential candidate obtaining a majority vote, a re-election shall be set and announced within a week after the decision is made.

What Does this Mean?

It seems then that blank ballots are included in the total number of ballots of which a candidate has to have 50%+1 to win in the first round. For the front runner, these blank ballots thus play the same role as votes for other candidates in the determination of the need for a second round.

Voters who are dissatisfied with the choices offered thus have some strategic options.

Submitting a blank ballot will register their protest and will make it harder for a candidate to win in the first round. In the past, the GEC has reported the number of unmarked ballots (2013 presidential). That number was 1.1% nation wide in 2013 with a high of 2.17% in Bayan-Olgi and a low of 0.8% in Ulaanbaatar district Sukhbaatar. Given the mood of frustration, it will be interesting to see what this number of unmarked ballots will be in the coming election, or possibly in a second round.

Submitting a spoiled ballot (i.e. wrong mark on the paper, multiple candidates marked), on the other hand, would not increase the likelihood of a 2nd round, as spoiled votes would not be counted in determining whether a candidate has obtained 50% of the vote.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Iveelt Ts for helping me figure out the right paragraphs and their meaning by also comparing the original Mongolian versions.

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Presidential Competencies and Election Platforms

By Julian Dierkes

One of the prominent topics in political discussions of the past 2-3 years has been constitutional reform. This has been brought about by the indeterminate compromise between a parliamentary and presidential democracy that the framers of the Mongolian constitution in 1992 reached. Periods of cohabitation (i.e. when the president of a different party than the majority of parliament as has been the case for the past year) are particularly difficult, but even when they represent the same party, conflict between the president and party leaders and the prime minister has been frequent.

Constitutional Powers

In practice, the main power that is reserved for the president is oversight over various parts of the judicial system. This has been even clearer under Pres. Elbegdorj as he has asserted this authority over the Anti-Corruption Agency (ATG), but also over the courts.

While the president also chairs the National Security Council and commands the military, this doesn’t actually give him/her the power to make military decisions. Likewise, the power to appoint ambassadors, doesn’t give formal authority over foreign policy. That’s why there are ministries of foreign affairs and of defence who are cabinet members, not subordinate to the president.

Current Debates

For a number of different reasons, constitutional debates have become more pressing in the past 2-3 years. Various reform proposals have been floated, and there currently is an experimental process in deliberative democracy that is meant to support these discussions, though it remains somewhat obscure in origins and directions.

Promises in the Election Platforms

Yet, despite these debates, the election platforms suggest an all-powerful presidency.

Battulga

After its broad preamble and topics covered under “2.1 Human Rights and Justice”, virtually all of Battulga’s campaign platform addresses topics that are not under the jurisdiction of the president. Take “2.3 Health Care” as an example. Few Mongolians would disagree with the aspiration that “Health Care and Medicine will be updated with newest technologies. A Mongolian citizen will be able to get diagnostics and treatments of the highest level in his homeland.” In fact, this addresses the serous topic of medical tourism that allows wealthier Mongolians to receive superior medical services abroad while ordinary Mongolians must rely on a domestic health care system that is hampered by budgetary and technology constraints. Yes, this is an important issue, but is it one where the president has any impact?

Ganbaatar

The beginning of Ganbaatar’s election platform is particularly ironic in this regard.

He opens his platform with a discussion of the “the gap between the election promises made by the political parties and their action after the election”. Yet, the very next paragraph discusses unemployment as a paramount problem. Yes, conversations with Mongolians and the results of several surveys confirm that unemployment is a serious issue. But, Ganbaatar proposes to address this issue by,

  • Making the government accountable;
  • Reducing and eliminating unemployment;
  • Reducing and eradicating poverty.

And how exactly would a president achieve that?

The remaining sections of Ganbaatar’s platform do seem more closely focused on some of the roles that the president takes on. The second part addresses justice and the judicial system. When he talks about “public interest” (part three) and national pride (part four), these are all broad claims about the direction of the country where the moral and symbolic leadership seems of a president seems more appropriate than in the concrete fight against unemployment. The platform largely continues in this vein, though that also means that it is exceedingly vague, sometimes even poetic in its aspirations.

Enkhbold

In structure, Enkhbold’s campaign platform is built more like Battulga’s than Ganbaatar’s. That is, he similarly starts with some very broad aspiration of his mission as president and some issues grouped under “National Unity, Mongolian Pride”.

After that discussion, a long list of issues that Enkhbold would hope to tackle follows. Where the first set of issues refers to the judiciary, the connection to the tasks of a president is fairly direct. But further down that list, for example in a section on “Middle Class – Wealth Creation”, it is less clear what the connection to constitutionally specified tasks for the president is.

Of course, Enkhbold would serve as a president with the collaboration of an MPP-led government and legislature, so he would be more likely to be able to implement some of his goals by collaborating with the government, but not necessarily through the nature of the presidency.

Caveats

Of course, the president does have the right to introduce legislation in the Ikh Khural. So, in some ways, he would be able to pursue an agenda on topics where s/he has no direct involvement. But is that what Mongolians are looked for, namely an alternative legislator who is not involved in the implementation of the legislation s/he introduces?

The president also chairs the National Security Council. Given the mandate of the NSC to safeguard the country, it has previously made statements on health care, the environment and other issues that are deemed closely linked to the welfare of the nation. So, statements on these topics by Enkhbold and Battulga could be interpreted to fall roughly into the portfolios addressed by the NSC. At the same time, the NSC itself is not an implementing body and relies on the government to actually do the things it maps out.

Audit of Electoral Campaigns

I’ve always been very interested in provisions in Mongolia’s election laws that require an audit and approval of electoral platforms by the General Election Commission. This is in part to present a situation like 2008 where the MPP and DP outbid each other in cash grants that they promised the population. Not only do platforms have to be approved, but candidates actually have to stick to these approved platforms in the campaign. Good idea, no?

Yet, all the examples of items in electoral platforms above suggest that this audit does not check electoral platforms on the question whether the president is actually in a position to affect the change that s/he has promised.

Coming Constitutional Reform

Will this mismatch between the constitutional role of the presidency and the campaign platforms matter?

There other factors in this election that will probably have a greater impact on the likelihood of constitutional reform. But that’s a topic for another post, I think.

Note

This blog post started with a conversation I had with a member of the diplomatic corps in Ulaanbaatar who pointed out the mismatch between constitutional powers of the presidency and the campaign platforms.

Posted in Constitution, Democratic Party, Elections, Mongolian People's Party, Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Party Politics, Politics, Presidential 2017 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Travelling Campaigns

By Julian Dierkes

This is the sixth national election campaign that I’m watching on the ground in Mongolia.

I have a head full of visual memories, conversations with campaign workers, talks by candidates, and discussions with voters, that get shifted around and added to with each election.

Here are some descriptions of how the current campaign is unfolding.

Campaign Events

In different elections, I’ve been to roughly three different styles of events that candidates are involved in:

  • public rallies
  • discussions
  • walk-abouts.

Obviously, candidates in the presidential election are quite constrained by their schedule. 21 provinces + Ulaanbaatar, all that in 18 days of campaigning… That means that there are very few stops candidates can make and they have to strive to interact with a large number of voters at these stops to maximize impact. That means that the public rally is the dominant in-person form of campaigning in this election.

You can almost feel the exhaustion and triumph at having made it to 21 aimags by former MP Oyungerel Ts travelling with Kh Battulga.

Candidates typically travel by motorcade, despite the great distances across the country. Assuming that a candidate wants to spend some significant time in Ulaanbaatar because of the concentration of votes here, including the chance to “catch” some voters before they move to the country for the summer where they may be registered, that leaves roughly 1.5 aimags to be visited per day.

Candidates obviously have the opportunity to stop at soums that are located on the big cross-country roads to appear in some smaller communities in addition to the aimag centres.

They may also want to visit their family homes, in part to galvanize local support which is always important.

Ganbaatar in Tsetserleg

As a researcher it is difficult to “catch” the candidates at events.

  1. they travel fast
  2. they keep itineraries secret
  3. they change itineraries according to other candidates’ movements

By chance, on an Arkhangai trip, I was able to watch a campaign rally by the MPRP with S Ganbaatar and N Enkhbayar speaking. We had missed Enkhbold’s appearance in Tsetserleg the day before, and would miss Battulga on the next day due to our travel schedule.

The rally was held on the main square of Tsetserleg, in front of the aimag administration where campaign workers had been setting up the stage since some time in the morning.

It looked to us like the event was delayed in part by a desire to have a larger crowd, but other logistic schedules might have been at play as well. About 1h:15 Ganbaatar actually arrived.

After lengthy introductions and endorsements by some local celebrities, as well as an aged herder, and a young voter, Ganbaatar gave a fairly short speech. Like his campaign platform, it was a fairly high-level speech, i.e. about Mongolia, values, and how he is the option that is a true alternative to MANAS. He got some polite applause, but it was not a crowd that seemed like enthuses protest voters that were thrilled that their candidate had appeared to them.

Nevertheless, the crowd offered him a big cheer.

What followed felt like it was the main event, namely the arrival and speech by N Enkhbayar, former president, convicted money launderer and thus non-candidate, and famous son of Arkhangai. While also not a rousing orator, his somewhat soft voice seems to fit his role as perpetual victim of MANAS conspiracies, elder statesman, and focus point of the MPRP fairly well. He also spoke very briefly to loud cheers.

His speech was interrupted by a technical challenge when his microphone stopped worked. He used that opportunity to present Ganbaatar to the crowd in a visual endorsement that also matched the “trust us both” slogan of their campaign.

That scene also appears on their campaign bus.

My guess is that somewhere over 1,000 people attended. Tsetserleg has a population of just over 20,000. Most of the crowd seemed to be partisan supporters, many of them wearing the traffic-cone-orange scarves, t-shirts, and hats that the MPRP uses.

As with many MPRP events, there was a large crowd of older Mongolians, many of them adorned in deels that were decorated with various medals. They were accommodated with benches and umbrellas given the heat of the day and seemed to listen raptly. While the rally might have been timed to coincide with the close of business in nearby administrative and commercial buildings, it didn’t seem like the crowd grew by very much over the course of the rally.

To me, the most notable aspect of the rally was that Enkhbayar was the star of the show, not Ganbaatar. That may have been in part due to his popularity as a local son who became president, but it may also reflect the structure of the MPRP and the choice of Ganbaatar as a candidate who had not been affiliated with the party before.

Posted in Countryside, Elections, Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Presidential 2017 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short Analysis of A Short Platform

By Bulgan B

In general, S Ganbaatar’s election platform is short (6 pages only) and written in simple language. It addresses “Mongolians” as the victims of unruly politicians and political parties and calls for action to set social justice and improve accountability to bring employment, income and eradicate poverty.

The change theory that the platform proposes is 1. getting accountable government so 2. the social justice could be restored, and this could bring 3. employment and income to everyone and 4. eradicate poverty. The change agent described in his platform is the public (“Mongolians”, “a Mongolian”, and “citizens” were the most frequently used words), calling them for action to change, declaring their rights to the ownership of natural resources and better treatment by the government.

The tone in the platform appeals to “nationalist” sentiment. In addition to attending to the entitlements of Mongolians, the 9-part document separately speaks of true Mongolian, having pride in being born Mongolian, improving the worth (value) of Mongolian and owning the natural resources.

Summary on Key Issues

Below is the summary of the platform stance on some issues identified by the writers of this blog.

On social issues: Mr. Ganbaatar signifies unemployment and poverty caused by the loss of justice in the society. The issues of healthcare, education and migration (Mongolian youth working abroad) were briefly mentioned as side effects of unemployment and loss of accountability (justice system).  In addition, the perspectives of history, current condition and future vision were anchored in the identity of Mongolian.

On nationalism and mining: The nationalist stance is very strong in the platform.  Mr. Ganbaatar is named as the “King of Populism” in political discussions and media. He certainly owns the “common Mongolian” role and has a strong stance on the Oyu Tolgoi agreement, demanding more of a share for Mongolians. Although he is criticized by many, he rates very high in the public, which could be one of the reason that MPRP is running him as their candidate.  In other words, the platform does not have references to mining.

On foreign policy: The platform is centered on domestic governance (accountability) and does not mention foreign policy. On the other hand, his statements about Mongolians owning the natural resources could translate into more emphasis on ownership of natural resources deposits by the state which could have negative impact on foreign investment (thus could translate into weakened foreign relations).

On judiciary: There is a sentence demanding fairness in legal and judiciary organizations and another charging the public officials holding the name of the government and having access to resources. He calls for a just system by prioritizing interests of the public.

On corruption: The only reference which may mean corruption is the mention of offshore account.

The Platform Overall

In summary, the platform does not substantially cover any policy issues in constructive manner. The narrowly defined social issues and actions to mend centers heavily on the what seem to be whatever people want to hear focusing on the emotion rather than intelligence.

To speculate, the platform does not seem to be created with the anticipation of winning the election. Although it is not possible to evaluate how much of resources dedicated in putting together the platform, it is sufficiently simplified thus could be speculated that it has not tapped into the two-term president, and the father of the party. From here, I also want to speculate that party strategy has more than obvious agenda – vote splitting. The conspiracy I dwell on is that Mr. Ganbaatar can share the nationalist votes with Kh. Battulga, DP candidate. The winner of the election would be the MPRP as its negotiation with its brother party MPP then would secure the party resources in the next term of presidency of MPP.

Posted in Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Presidential 2017 | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Biggest Question about the Election

By Julian Dierkes

Of course, it is interesting to speculate about the likelihood of one candidate or another winning the election. On that front, a week into the campaign, an Enkhbold victory still seems more likely, though a second round of voting is much more difficult to speculate about.

But, what I am looking more for in this election are signs that speak to the level of frustration that Mongolian voters feel with the two large parties and how they express that frustration.

As I reflect back on last year’s parliamentary election, the biggest news was perhaps not the size of the MPP victory (which was expected, though not on that scale), but rather the increase in the level of participation and the rejection of many populists.

Even in a desire economic situation – often a breeding ground for populism – Mongolian voters rejected many of the offers of simple solutions for complex problems (the hallmark of political populism), and instead voiced their frustration about the previous DP government by given strong support to the MPP.

In this election, many voters see many reasons to be frustrated with the choice the three candidates offer them.

Will they voice this frustration by staying home or by protesting this lack of choice either through blank/spoiled ballots or by backing Battulga or Ganbaatar as a protest vote?

I have discussed the impact of voter turnout on the result elsewhere.

But, I am trying to use my time in Mongolia during the campaign to learn from Mongolians how frustrated they are with politics (beyond the indications that polls offer on this topic).

I am hoping that I will continue to get a sense of how likely political mobilization outside of the structure of two large parties is in the future.

Last year’s election showed me that Mongolians remain dedicated to electoral democracy. I have discounted the likelihood of an authoritarian turn for some time. Instead, I think it will be increasingly likely that Mongolians will vent their frustration about politics through a protest movement focused on a specific issue, most likely corruption. We have seen a number of eruptions of protests on this topic in the past, but I will not be surprised if a future eruption then turns into a new political movement that demands real answers on corruption, or if a generational change in the large parties (overdue especially for the DP, but also needed in the MPP, I think) can hitch their cart in a genuine fashion to an anti-corruption or transparency cart and thus ride popular protest to real political change.

Posted in Corruption, Democracy, Party Politics, Politics, Populism, Presidential 2017, Protest, Social Change, Social Issues, Social Movements | Tagged | Leave a comment

Trust in Mongolian Youth

By Julian Dierkes

I went to Arkhangai with my mother to show her a bit of the Mongolian countryside (and also give me a chance to learn more about the election campaign).

We had a wonderful time.

On our way back, we had some time to spare in Tsetserleg and visited the lovely provincial museum housed in a former monastery.

Tsetserleg, capital of #Arkhangai and sometimes-site of small wonders! #magicalmongolia

A post shared by Julian Dierkes (@jbdierkes) on

Unfortunately, my mother lost her wallet, most likely when she got in the car.

As you can imagine, panic ensued. Credit cards, id, various other documents, and a significant sum of Tugrik.

How to Search for a Wallet

We first checked back where we lost the wallet, no luck. Off to the police next.

All along, I am thinking that the wallet will somehow come back, perhaps conditioned by my years of life in Japan where lost items return almost inevitably.

The police were very helpful and friendly, suggesting a radio ad and loudspeaker announcements.

Off to the radio station, then the market, where we were surprised to hear my mother’s name over the loudspeaker.

Five minutes after our bus for Ulaanbaatar would’ve left, we got a phone call from the museum that the wallet had been found. Ah, what a relief. We sped back to the museum and sure enough, there was the wallet.

Not surprisingly, the cash was gone, but other than one item that might well have slipped out when the cash was removed, all the credit cards, ids were still there.

And here was a very shy student from No. 1 Secondary School in Tsetserleg. He had found the wallet by the side of the road nearby and we were so grateful that he turned it in, saving us the massive hassle to cancel all cards, etc.

Faith in Mongolian humanity reinforced, thank you Tsetserleg parents and teachers for raising good kids who know what to do with a found wallet!

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Importance of Turnout

By Julian Dierkes

One of the big questions on election night (June 26) will be whether voters will turn up to vote.

In recent presidential elections, the turnout had been steadily declining (2005: 74.9%, 2009 73.5%, 2013 66.5%). That was also true of parliamentary elections until turnout last year suddenly jumped back up to 73.5%.

Since the electorate’s vote was one of frustration last year (with the DP, but also with (party) politics more generally, it is a bit too simple to say that such frustration drives turnout, because that should have made the number drop last year which it didn’t.

From the quiet beginning of the campaign (at least in Ulaanbaatar) in the first few days, there’s no strong sense that the electorate is energized, but that may change in the course of the campaign, perhaps through TV debates.

Implications of Turnout

But the implications of a high or low turnout are significant, I think. There is a good chance that a second round will be required in this election. That chance will be determined to some extent by turnout. Put simply, the lower the turnout, the greater Enkhbold’s chances to win election outright. Put a higher turnout will make a second round more likely.

Why is that?

I am assuming that the core MPP voters are committed to Enkhbold as their candidate. They emphasize his experience in virtual all high offices (Ulaanbaatar mayor, prime minister, party leader, UIX speaker) and see him as a candidate who will bring stability to Mongolian politics. Given the MPP’s strong organization, esp. in the countryside, they are likely to be able to deliver their core votes with a high turnout.

Core MPRP voters (let’s say around 7-8%, judging by last year’s parliamentary election (8%) and the 2013 presidential election (6.6%)) are likely to turn out for Ganbaatar as well. Any additional voters for Ganbaatar are likely to be protest voters (Ganbaatar as “last man standing” in politics, etc.) who may vote or not. This is the first factor where turnout will matter greatly and have an impact on the likelihood of a second round.

With Battulga things seem more complicated. It seems like former PM Amarjargal was actually able to generate a lot of support in the party as a potential candidate but – in the end – was not nominated, perhaps because of doubts about finances for the campaign. Battulga has always been a somewhat divisive figure in the party and as a faction leader can probably not count on the firm support of all core DP members. That reduces his likely result in a low-turnout election. But if turnout is high (implying that undecided voters and non-voters are showing up in some numbers) Battulga may attract a fair number of votes that are nervous about a complete MPP rout of all elections, and of populist protest votes.

It seems unlikely that turnout would drop below the required 50% nationwide. But if I am correct that turnout is also required to be above 50% in each polling station, there may be some chance that this won’t be reached. In that case, there will be a re-vote a week later, further delaying any official results and thus a (decision about a) second round.

It’s hard to pin low or high turnout to a number, but if turnout rises by some percentage points from 2013, a second round seems likely. If, on the other hand it drops further, Enkhbold’s chances at winning outright increase.

Posted in Elections, Politics, Presidential 2017 | Tagged | 3 Comments

Kh Battulga’s Election Platform

Translated by Students in Humboldt University Mongolian Politics Seminar

Below we’re offering a translation of Kh Battulga’s presidential campaign platform. We have already posted a translation of S Ganbaatar’s platform. But we’re still recruiting someone to translate MPP/M Enkhbold’s platform.

By providing an English translation, we want to make information available to non-Mongolian readers to allow them to get a sense of Kh Battulga (and the others) as a candidate. We have attempted to translate the platform to the best of our ability, but not to linguistic, rather to substantive standards.

If you have any comments on the translation, please do use the comment function below.

The translation was based on the version of the platform that appears on the GEC website.

A STRONGER MONGOLIA/ХҮЧИРХЭГ МОНГОЛ УЛС

I would be a patriotic/national president, who would build a prosperous ‘stronger Mongolia’, and who honours freedom, democracy, and justice, independent and sovereign Mongolia; where statehood is accounted for millennials and based on culture and history, tradition, modern accomplishments, and hope for bright future.

  • A patriotic President, who honors unity, and emphasizes national interest
  • A patriotic president, who protects freedom and just, and endorses the citizens
  • A patriotic president, who builds a prosperous economy, and develops industry
  • A patriotic president, who ensures ecological balance, and protects territory
  • A patriotic president, who launches a new era for export, and prefers balanced foreign relations

 1. President, who honours unity, and emphasizes national interest

  1. To defend fundamental rights of its people and country

To protect national interest with strong commitment by honoring Mongolian independence, sovereignty, territory integrity, inviolability of borders, democracy, freedom, human right, and justice.

  1. To accomplish national unity

As a Mongolian president who represents national unity, I will protect Mongolian statehood and will lead an undivided, developed and unified Mongolia against antagonism and partition.

  1. President, who protects freedom und just, and endorses citizens

2.1. Human rights and Justice

2.1.1. Everyone’s equality before the law will be guaranteed.
2.1.2. Public service workers will be appointed on professional merit.
2.1.3. Corrupted public servants, owners of offshore accounts will be punished.
2.1.4. Public service will become less bureaucratic. An online platform for public service will be established.
2.1.5. Governmental organizations, budget allocation, state property will be controlled by the president and the public.
2.1.6. Freedom of speech, expression, assembly and press will be guaranteed. Independent and transparent media will be established.
2.1.7. Judicial independence will be ensured. Judges will be selected not only on professional merits, but also on personal morality.

2.2. Education, Culture, Art and Science

An educated, healthy and employed Mongolian citizen is the source of the country’s development and economic growth.

2.2.1. [???]
2.2.2. Traditions, customs, heritage of mongols and nomadic civilization, arts of national value will be patronized and promoted.
2.2.3. Engraining morality, patriotism to children and youth. Improving the internet infrastructure so that everyone gets access to knowledge.
2.2.4. Boost Sciences, Technology and Innovations
2.2.5. Supporting Specialists and Professionals

2.3. Health Care

The health care of a Mongolian citizen will be the core of the governmental policy. The right of the citizens to live in a safe and healthful environment will be fortified. Special attention will be payed to the citizens’ physical health and its improvement.

2.3.1. Health Care and Medicine will be updated with newest technologies. A Mongolian citizen will be able to get diagnostics and treatments of highest level in his homeland.
2.3.2. In order to make medical care available to every citizen complex medical centers of international standards will be developed in regions.
2.3.3. Preventive care and services will get more financial support. With their insurance citizens will be able to swim in water sport centers.
2.3.4. Reduce diseases; support healthy lifestyle;
2.3.5. Develop the sports infrastructure by supporting national sports, sport medicine and athletes;

2.4. Public Service

An ethical and cultural sphere will be created, where a Mongolian public servant can formulate and implement policies and work creatively for a citizen-based society respecting the Mongolian governing tradition. The Military, Court and Police are seen as encouragers to obey the law and mainstay of the state’s independence. Therefore, rights of all public servants will be respected.

2.4.1. Public service will be professional, able and well-organized. Selection of public servants will base on their experience, talent and creativity.
2.4.2. Public servants will be provided with fair salary and working space for a stable, fast and efficient work.

2.5. Social security

Every citizen, who is in need of social security and assistance will be maintained and an environment for their social engagement will be created.

2.5.1. Appropriate maintenance to target groups will be provided. Obtain fair pensions;
2.5.2. Equal rights for public and social services for disabled citizen will be guaranteed. A special infrastructure will be established for them.

2.6. Families, senior citizens, females and children

A Family is a source unit of the existence of a nation. Therefore, a policy endorsing households will be implemented.

2.6.1. Promote the positive influence of family, family planning and its stability on social relations;
2.6.2. Create necessary conditions for mothers to give birth, raise their children; Keep mothers employed, support them economically and financially; Support large families with many children by accommodating them;
2.6.3. Support the children of single-headed households, low-income families, or disabled citizens; Guarantee them full educational service;
2.6.4. Support of low-income and single-headed households with children under 3 years old;
2.6.5. Enhance women’s leadership and involvement in decision making; Fight with domestic violence;
2.6.6. Guarantee and protect the rights of every single child;
2.6.7. Create optional employment opportunities for senior citizens;
2.6.8. Develop and support elderly care;
2.6.9. Encourage social and cultural leadership and creativity to youth;
2.6.10. Provide students with part time jobs; Job guarantee for graduates;
2.6.11. Support the „Soldier student“ program in order to engrain patriotism to youth;
2.6.12. Make the selection process of students who will study abroad fair and transparent; Double the number of bachelor, master and doctoral students who will study in developed countries;
2.6.13. Fight against youth smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use.

2.7. Support of herders and farmers

Special attention will be payed to social problems of herders, who carry the traditional nomadic culture, and farmers, who supply the people with products obtained from our homeland. Every effort will be made to increase their economic growth.

2.7.1. Increase the value of farm and livestock products; Improve the living conditions of farmers and herders;
2.7.2. Production and export of processed farm and livestock products.
2.7.3. Increase quality of livestock by introducing new technologies, creating new breeds, improving veterinary etc.
2.7.4. Encourage people living in border areas to involve in border guard services;

2.8. Decentralization, new cities, rural development

2.8.1. Develop tourism, production in rural areas;
2.8.2. Develop rural areas;
2.8.3. Rational allocation of administrative organizations; make public service accessible;
2.8.4. Add more green zones and build reservoirs in cities;
2.8.5. Guarantee security of the citizen;
2.8.6. Convert and develop ger districts; solve the air and soil pollution problems;
2.8.7. Develop sum centres.

  1. President, who makes the economy prosperous, and develops industry

To give importance to implementation of policies to restructure the economy and to make it more diversified, ensuring economic growth through innovation-based industrialization, and creating employment. To work with in accordance with ‘Mongolia Sustainable Development Vision – 2030’ approved by State Great Khural of Mongolia (19th Protocol) on 5th February, 2016. That includes:

3.1 Industrialization is the key for development

3.2 Banking and Stock market

3.3 Special attention to middle income group

3.4 Mining policy in accordance with national safety

3.5 To save up income from natural resources and make policy for developing non natural resource sectors, and for creating employment

3.6 Equal distribution of natural resource income

3.7 To build industrial park including steelworks, copper mill, petrochemical refinery

3.8 From brown to green economy

3.9 Employment

3.10 One nation – One Soldier: To involve soldiers for big national establishments in order to provide them profession skills required while having income at the same time

3.11 Support wealth creation by eliminating state intervention, examination and taxation, and corruption

3.12 To develop economic passage between two neighbours, and to develop economic relations with the two neighbours as well as with 3rd neighbors

3.13 To build transnational railroads

3.14 Renewable energy

3.15 Financial and Investment market

  1. President, who ensures ecological balance, and protects homeland

Special attention to appropriate use of  Mongolian natural resources, to keep the ecological balance by reducing climate change (?), greenhouse gas, human and industrial harm on the nature, and to hand over pristine nature for our future generation.

4.1 Eco-friendly technology

4.2 Climate Change

4.3 Air and soil pollution

4.4 Waste to energy policy

4.5 Taxation policy on ecofriendly technology

4.6 Tourism

4.7 To support initiative of any kind to process raw coal and shale

4.8 Water protection

4.9 Protection of critically endangered plants and animals

  1. President, who launches a new era for export, and prefers balanced foreign relations

The leading principals of president’s foreign policies are to protect Mongolian independence, self-preserved sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of borders; to reassure the democracy chosen by people of Mongolia; and equal cooperation which is in interest of nation.

Special attention to mutually beneficial cooperation at regional and international level in order for economically free, independent, and accelerated development. To expand market for product and knowledge which are made in Mongolia.

Active and friendly policy to all Mongols living worldwide and soft power diplomacy through promotion of Mongolian history, national heritage, and pride at international level.

5.1 Foreign policy which protects national interest

5.2 Foreign policy which puts economy first

5.3 Bilateral economic relation with Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China

5.4 Regional economic integration through railway, airway, and expressway

5.5 Foreign investment and trade

5.6 Taxation on foreign trade

5.7 Third neighbor policy

5.8 India, Central Asian countries, Turkey

5.9 Foreign policy independent from political divide

5.10 Mongolians living abroad

5.11 Mongolians visiting abroad

5.12 Active participation in UN and in other international organizations

Posted in Democratic Party, Presidential 2017 | Leave a comment

M Enkbold’s Election Platform

Summarized and Translated by Bayanjargalmaa B

Below we’re offering a translation of M Enkhbold’s presidential campaign platform. We have already posted a translation of S Ganbaatar’s platform and of Kh Battulga’s platform.

By providing an English translation, we want to make information available to non-Mongolian readers to allow them to get a sense of M Enkhbold (and the others) as a candidate. We have attempted to translate the platform to the best of our ability, but not to linguistic, rather to substantive standards.

If you have any comments on the translation, please do use the comment function below.

The translation was based on the version of the platform that appears on the GEC website.

MONGOLIAN PEOPLE’S PARTY 2017 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE’S ELECTION PLATFORM

 

I; MONGOLIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ENKHBOLD MIYEGOMBO, hereby present to the voters my platform which is based on the following three core ideologies

THE SAME SOUL LIKE AN ASPIRATION OF MY PEOPLE

THE SAME AIR LIKE A DEMAND OF THE FAMILIES

THE SAME SOIL LIKE AN ACT OF MY COUNTRY

I WILL BE THE PRESIDENT; WHO CARES FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AND CARRIES OUT YOUR VOICE.

The bases for a developed Mongolia are healthy and educated people who love their country.

I will work hard to prepare our children for life, to improve and protect the lives of younger generation as well as older generations.

Hereby, I that I honor human rights, freedom, and justice; and will lead the government policies, which strengthen democracy and are based on voice of the people.

ONE: NATIONAL UNITY; MONGOLIAN PRIDE

  • Unified Mongolia – to comply with the concept of national unity
  • Mongolia with value – Implementation of policies to mature citizens who honor nationalism and national pride
  • Basis of Unity – law and order, justice, equal distribution of resources are the basis for unity
  • Positive political culture – to provide a legal basis for balanced political cooperation between the President, State Great Khural and Government and active cooperation with civil organizations
  • State policy for people – to prioritize people before political and business interest
  • Political Parties – to provide new legal basis for accountable and financially-open political parties and to improve checks and balance system for those who have higher governing power
  • Abide by the rules – to issue a presidential decree which stated that children’s schooling shall be based on traditional method in order for them to become Mongolian person /Mongol Khun/.
  • Freedom of the press is a guarantee of democracy – correction of legislations which limits press freedom, support for socially responsible, independent, and professional press, cooperation with press in order to enlighten society

TWO: RESPONSIBLE; JUST; AND STABLE GOVERNANCE

2.1 Balanced, responsible, stable state – national referendum for constitutional change in order to perfect governance, state responsibility, checks and balance, and to ensure stability

2.2 Professional Public Service

2.3 Public Service with right mindset

2.4 Public Service without corruption

2.5 Fair representation of social groups

2.6 Responsible law enforcement

2.7 Independent Judicial Governance

2.8 Apolitical Judicial Administration

2.9 Fair Judge – Fair Decision

2.10 Criminals – Real liability

2.11 Well deserved prizes

THREE: MONGOLIAN PERSON IS VALUABLE ASSET OF MONGOLIA

3.1 State policy for its people

3.2 Definite Health Policy

3.3 Accessible Health service

3.4 National Plan for ‘Health precaution of Mongolian Person’

3.5 The basis is health body

3.6 Mongolian person with compatibility

3.7 Practical knowledge

3.8 Mongolia with cultural heritage

3.9 Home based world education

3.10 Opportunity to study abroad

3.11 Youth development

3.12 Investor citizen

3.13 Support for nomads

3.14 Reachable social protection

3.15 Skill – Social Guarantee: Special attention to those in educational and health sector

3.16 Gender equality

3.17 Mother and children

3.18 Mongolians living abroad

3.19 Support for science and technology

3.20 Research, development fund

3.21 Homeland invitation to skilled human resource abroad

3.22 Urbanization – solution for national development

3.23 New settlements – New infrastructure

3.24 New railway routes

FOUR: MIDDLE CLASS – WEALTH CREATION

4.1 Middle class with compatibility

4.2 Stable and growing economy

4.3 National productivity

4.4 Mutual trust – Investment

4.5 Diversified economy

4.6 New manufacturing policies

4.7 Production requires higher technology

4.8 Energy export

4.9 Well-sold resources

4.10 Saving fund for a future generation

4.11 ‘Economic Passage’ agenda

4.12 New Countryside (Khuduu)

4.13 Rural development

4.14 Small and middle size production – creation of new jobs

4.15 Start-Up business

4.16 Investment Market Reform

4.17 Mongolia before offshore

4.18 Productive State property

4.19 Regional tourism

4.20 Mongolian Content

FIVE: NATIONAL SECURITY; FOREIGN POLICY

5.1 Multi-Pillar Foreign Policy

5.2 Good neighbor Policy

5.3 Third neighbor Policy

5.4 Active international cooperation

5.5 Opportunity for visa free travel

5.6 Green development – safe environment

5.7 Environment Protection

5.8 Eco-friendly vehicle

5.9 Clean air, water, and coil

5.10 Water

5.11 Responsible Mining

5.12 Healthy Food

5.13 High quality medicine

5.14 Defense Policy

5.15 Mongolian Soldier – Peace Soldier

5.16 Arming and technological reform

5.17 Capacity to protect the border

5.18 National Citizen Protection –earthquake, conflagration, flood and others

5.19 Prevention for possible terrorist risks

5.20 Online safety

5.21 Strong fight against marijuana

5.22 World known Mongolia

If I will be elected as a president, I will keep the succession of state policy, and ensure participation and representation of all social class, and work together with State Great Khural and Government in order to implement this platform.

The execution of platform will be led by myself, and my action will reflect my promises (it won’t be all talk no action), and each year I will report the result of my work to the people and State Great Khural.

Posted in Elections, Mongolian People's Party, Politics, Presidential 2017 | Leave a comment

S Ganbaatar’s Election Platform

Translation by Bulgan B

Below we’re offering a translation of S Ganbaatar’s presidential campaign platform. We also hope to post translations of the other two platforms.

By providing an English translation, we want to make information available to non-Mongolian readers to allow them to get a sense of S Ganbaatar (and the others) as a candidate. We have attempted to translate the platform to the best of our ability, but not to linguistic, rather to substantive standards.

If you have any comments on the translation, please do use the comment function below.

MPRP 2017 Presidential Election Candidate Sainkhuu GANBAATAR’s Election Platform

“To begin a grand journey”

Slogan: Let’s choose Mongolia (Монголоо сонгоё)

  1. To rid of unemployment and poverty by walking the talk
  2. To establish Justice
  3. To worship the higher public interests
  4. To take pride in being born Mongolian
  5. To increase the worth of “Mongolian person”
  6. To reach success by resolving pressing challenges
  7. To own “the three beautiful”
  8. To match the word and action
  9. To begin a grand journey

Part One

An issue: One of the most pressing challenges of today is the gap between the election promises made by the political parties and their action after the election. Citizens criticize that this gap is making the government irresponsible thus demanding it to be fixed.

An issue: According to the citizens, unemployment is one of the main factors that outrage the public. The current government could not resolve this pressing challenge in an urgent manner and unemployment has been increasing over 10%. Therefore, the unemployment, directly and indirectly causing despair in our society, leading many good Mongolian (youth – залуус) to abandon their motherland to pursue employment and income in other countries.

An issue: As the political, social and economic crisis deepens the income of the public is reduced, making the poverty as the most pressing challenge according to researches published by research organizations such as “sant maral”.  According to a research, people in poverty and families in poverty cannot purchase more than most basic necessities, hardly surviving, let alone planning their future. In order to get out of this political, social and economic crisis, everyone should get into action of:

  • Making the government accountable;
  • Reducing and eliminating unemployment;
  • Reducing and eradicating poverty.

Part Two: To Establish Justice

An issue: Today, citizens see that because of unemployment and poverty, the gap between the rich and poor is increasing, and relatively well-off middle class is decreasing which illustrates the loss of justice and therefore creating environment which would cause a loss of social stability. Especially, the offshore account issues are causing a major public outrage.

An issue: Citizens see that establishing justice means returning the money deposited in offshore accounts back to Mongolia, spending that money in resolving the pressing issues of economy and society, receiving equal benefit of natural resources, improving the condition to study in higher education, expanding the healthcare quality and scope, reducing the public service bureaucracy, fairness in legal and judiciary organizations activities. The time has come that the government, officials see, listen and understand that the public is demonstrating, protesting en masse to establish this kind of justice. Behind this fight, the question of whether the justice would be established in Mongolia is being raised and therefore every Mongolian person should speak out for justice which has historical significance of equalizing the fate of the Mongolians.

Part Three: To Worship the Higher Public Interests

An issue: All Mongolians are publicly aspiring “To ” and deep in their heart feel and understand that “If don’t part now, it will be late”.  The roots of the success in reaching this aspiration is to put the party interests to the back and Mongolians interests in priority. So, Mongolians can the his/her, his/her family, and his/her children’s fate.

Part Four: To Take Pride in Being Born Mongolian

An issue: Although , we are united under the sacred name Mongolia and take pride in being born Mongolian. Since the ancient time Mongolians worshiped justice, and did not tolerate injustice which made us stand out from others. We are truly Mongolians therefore are obliged to serve the deed of re-establishing justice which is rare in Mongolia now.

An issue: Strong and solid unity founded on justice, intensive development policy founded on strong and solid unity, vigorous activities founded on intensive development policy, “match of word and action” in Mongolia:

  1. Reforming and founding accountable government;
  2. Solidly establishing justice;
  3. Eliminating unemployment;
  4. Eradicating poverty.

An issue: Consequently, Mongolian youth would be provided with employment reliably and would have a guaranteed income. They would not need to abandon their mother land to chase job and income. Thus, Mongolian family and Mongolian public will be complete (unbroken, or whole).

Part Five: To Increase the Worth of “Mongol Hun”

An issue: Because politics, society and economy are in crisis, the worth of “Mongol Hun” is deteriorated. But Mongolians have been justice revering and brave people who loved their motherland thus saving its independence in the heart of the Asian continent and therefore a people with lots of worth and history of victory. For such beautiful public, the government should ensure employment and income to all, ensure education to the youth, and keep the senior healthy so that every Mongolians worth would increase. In any country, the public who can demand the government instead of begging it and having the government serving them are the public that is worthwhile. The time has come to show that Mongolians are just, brave and demand the government to action the promises!

We can do it!

Part Six: To Reach Success by Resolving to Face Challenges

An issue: The challenges we are facing are:

  1. Unaccountability
  2. Unemployment
  3. Poverty
  4. Injustice

An issue: Our successes are:

  1. Justice;
  2. Employment and income;
  3. Great upbuilding (Их Бүтээн Байгуулалт)
  4. Solidarity.

An issue: In resolving the pressing challenges and reaching the success would not cost large amount of extra spending. Working together in leveraging right mind, experience, knowledge and education and respecting public interests the pressing challenges could be resolved and success could be reached in the approved budget of today.

Part Seven: To Own the Three “Beautiful” (good)

An issue: Mongolian in Mongolia, owning the country’s natural resources would mean shifting the center of attention from officials who are shielded by the name of the government and sitting protected in the middle of all and creating a just system which can protect the Mongolian (Монгол хүн). The existence of Mongolia therefore would mean existence for creating good life for Mongolian public and Mongolian (Монгол хүн) and his/her interests would be in the center of everything.

An issue: We are called Mongolians because we traversed the past together. However, the sacred name Mongolians do not only belong to the passed and gone. The moment that we imagine that we will create and carve our future together, and then we can stay and continue to exist as Mongolians, the Mongolians will own the three beautiful:

  • Owner of a beautiful fate
  • Owner of a beautiful natural resources
  • Owner of a beautiful Mongolia.

Yes, we are the owners of these!

We have one future to become the owner of these!

Part Eight: To match Word and Action

An issue: Today, in Mongolia a person who “walks the talk” and “creator” is needed a lot (as much as water and air). A person who tells the truth when talking, do good when doing, aim to accomplish when going. Mongolians, let’s become a person who deliver on his/her promise, and who matches its word and action.

Part Nine: To Begin a Grand Journey

An issue: We are beginning a grand journey with objectives to:

  1. Have accountable government;
  2. Establish justice;
  3. Create employment;
  4. Eradicate poverty;
  5. Strengthen solidarity.

In this grand journey, we will be the real owners of Mongolia, own the natural resources, will increase the value and worth of Mongolian and Mongolia will be energized.

Our grand journey is a journey to happiness!

Long live Mongolia! (Мандтугай)

May Mongolians rise and thrive forever!

Posted in Elections, Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Presidential 2017 | Tagged | 3 Comments