[The notes below are based on conversations I’ve been having with Byambajav Dalaibuyan, Mendee Jargalsaikhan and Tsogtbaatar Byambaa. All foolish conclusions are mine, of course.]
This seems to be the most likely overall scenario for the election at this point, i.e. before the election campaign officially commences:
- losses for the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), primarily to the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP);
- gains for the Democratic Party (DP), primarily at the expense of the MPP;
- 5-10 seats for MPRP;
- 3-6 seats for Civil Will Green Party (CWGP).
[Note that this discounts the possibility of independent candidates winning seats, as Mendee has pointed out to me.]
BUT, obviously there is lots of room for developments to interfere with those guesses. My eye right now is on corruption and the extent to which this becomes a more general topic of discussion. The DP is pushing hard on corruption, mostly by going after Enkhbayar, while the MPP is trying to stay aloof. Either or both of these strategies might backfire, I think, and the CWGP probably has the most to gain by more discussion of corruption.
Scenarios in Order of Likelihood
A. slight DP plurality (30-35 seats), but not enough to form government with CWGP. Result: DP-led coalition with MPP, PM = Altankhuyag
B. Strong DP: DP with a significant plurality (35-37 seats), but no majority, CWGP as expected. Result DP-CWGP coalition, PM= Altankhuyag
C. A variation: slight MPP plurality (reverse DP and MPP numbers). Result: MPP-led coalition, PM = Batbold
D. DP majority: obviously, the DP would govern if it can win 38+ seats. PM = Altankhuyag.
E. Strong MPP: MPP with a significant plurality (35-37 seats), but no majority, CWGP/MPRP as expected. Result MPP-led coalition with DP, PM = Batbold. However, this might be one of the scenarios where Batbold would be tempted to talk to the MPRP about a coalition, especially if the MPRP result is weak (<7).
F. MPRP surge: If the MPRP surges (12+ seats) this surge could come at expense of either DP or MPRP, almost certainly implies a DP-MPP coalition.
G. CWGP surge: If the CWGP surges on the back of discussions of corruption (10+ seats, my student, Naranzul becomes an MP), this could, again, be at the expense of either or both MPP and DP, but this might make a DP-CWGP coalition more likely, with a more prominent role for CWGP/Oyun
H. Disputed election: Either because the results end up very close or because of (alleged or real) irregularities in the voting or counting process, the election results may be disputed, leading to some period of a continuation of the current government on a caretaker basis.
What all of these scenarios have in common is the basic conclusion that as of July there may be a different PM, but overall policies are not likely to change much. Whatever coalition ends up governing will face a stronger and, in the case of the MPRP, more vocal and more vocally populist opposition.
- Enkhbat’s announcement that he’s not running for re-election has cast a bit of a shadow over the CWGP
- The rank ordering of the scenarios currently depends mostly on the success of the two large parties. Their outlook might shift significantly in the course of the campaign.
- There is some internal opposition to Batbold and Altankhuyag with Khurelsukh and Battulga, respectively, waiting in the wings [point emphasized by Tsogtbaatar]