Similar to the other candidates, Minister of Health N Udval intends to fight corruption, reform the judiciary, reduce partisan influence and improve services in governance, protect the environment, make effective use of natural resources, reduce alcoholism, promote investment in schools and hospitals, and continue a foreign policy of good relations with Russia and China and an active courting of “third neighbours.”
Local participation in governments is one of the areas that is addressed by all candidates, including Udval who is calling for the direct election of provincial and city governors (who are currently elected by local parliaments). Udval also emphasizes improvements to the election law. She would like proportional representation introduced to Mongolia’s electoral system (presumably to replace the current mix of proportional and direct election ridings), and she intends to fight electoral fraud and corruption.
In terms of social issues, she emphasizes the need to improve health care, reduce domestic violence, and increase education opportunities in a less business oriented way than her opponents. She also supports a transition to hourly wages instead of the current standard of monthly salaries for most workers. She has a rather strident position on tightening the criminal code to put more people behind bars. On security issues she describes herself as a “security watchdog” who will put the country first.
“Five Dangers” and Twenty-Five Policies
Udval starts her platform by outlining “five dangers” she’ll address as president: 1. Economic dependence and insecurity from foreign influence and domestic corruption, 2. Degradation and exploitation of the working class 3. Divided government characterized by partisan graft and patronage, 4. Degradation of the environment and society, and 5. Lack of faith in a corrupted judiciary and press. The other two candidates have similar assessments of the economic and social challenges facing the country, but their approaches are different. Elbegdorj addresses them less directly in the body of his platform without a point-by-point list of challenges. Bat-Erdene outlines a list of challenges in the opening of his platform just like Udval but with a slightly softer tone and not nearly as extensively as her.
The rest of her platform is divided into five broad policy positions with five issues each, making a total of twenty-five policy points. The structure of the policy areas does not appear to exactly mirror the five dangers portion of the platform, and presumably it is left to voters to make the connections between specific policy prescriptions such as supporting an independent press or improving the conditions of the border protection force and any of the five dangers.
The five broad policy positions are:
- The basis of Mongolian political policy is the Mongolian people,
- Provide for citizens equally, offer welfare with a mother’s heart, and maintain the national security,
- Make the national security “watchdogs” work
- Protect and bind the state’s independence through economic means, and
- Improve the national justice system.
A Latecomer to Social Media
The imagery of the campaign website is difficult to classify. The first noticeable element of the website is the heavy emphasis on social media. Udval’s Twitter feed takes up the right quarter of the homepage (not the campaign platform page).
This is somewhat surprising as Udval has not been an active tweeter until the beginning of the campaign, having posted a mere 120 messages as of June 9 and gathered not even 450 followers. Even Bat-Erdene, who has also not been terribly active, has tweeted over 700 times and has over 9,000 followers, while Elbegdorj occasionally gets involved in Twitter discussions and has over 60,000 followers. Many of Udval’s tweets thus far also merely lead to photographs or videos rather than engaging potential voters on policy issues, making the prominence of the Twitter feed on the home page an odd choice.
While the front page shows Udval in a traditional deel, further photographs show her primarily at work in business suits.
See also Udval’s foreign policy platform.