Although the General Election Commission hasn’t announced the official results of local elections, the two major political parties have already accepted the election results and have begun preparing for the run-off elections in five capital city districts where the voter turnout was under the 50 percent threshold. [The runoff election is scheduled on November 30, 2012.]
The Democratic Party (DP) won in 12 provinces and 7 districts of the capital city and the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 9 provinces and 2 districts. According to the General Election Commission, the DP won 379 seats, the MPP 334, the other parties 23, and independent runners 6 of the total seats of provincial Citizens’ Representative Khurals (link). This means that two major parties will establish the Citizens’ Representative Khurals at the provincial and county level in coming weeks and nominate their party officials for the posts of provincial and county governors – the most important positions in local politics. In fact, some analysts argue that a party’s influence at the local levels and especially the strength of their on-the-ground organization, has been an influential factor in parliamentary and presidential elections. In the past, the MPP has been dominated in the local politics partly with its strong network that it inherited from the one-party era. In addition to the capital city’s Citizen’s Representative Khural and Mayor, victories in 12 provinces demonstrate the DP’s strength and influence.
At the same time, the local elections highlight the weaknesses of smaller parties that lack local network and resources. For small parties, the likelihood of gaining some role in the local elections is low in the absence of further disintegration of the two major political parties as happened prior to the parliamentary election in 2012.
Along with local elections, the runoff for the parliamentary election in Ulaanbaatar’s Bayanzurkh district ended with the victory of former MP Arvin (MPP). According to the speaker, five new MPs are planning to sworn-in. Ms. Sarangel (MPP) will fill in the seat vacated by MP Khurelsukh (both nominated by the party list). Mr. Oyunbaatar (MPRP), whose sworn-in ceremony had been postponed in connection with former President Enkhbayar’s trial, will fill the seat of the MPRP party list. Two DP members, Batkhuu and Zorigt, are cleared to become members after the disputed election in Uvurkhangai Province in according the General Election Commission, but the MPP still objects their sworn-in ceremony. Their earlier sworn-in ceremony was delayed by the MPP’s “sofa boycott” which blocked the entrance of the parliament because the MPP nominees in Uvurkhangai Province appealed the initial court decision. Since the Supreme Court hasn’t decided on the appeal of the MPP nominees, the MPP continue to object the General Election Commission decisions in regards with two DP members.
At the same time, the investigation of two current MPs of Uvs province (both MPP members) on violations of the election law (i.e., cash transfer) is ongoing and the DP majority parliament has still delayed the recognition of the MPP’s parliamentary group. Without parliamentary group status, the MPP will not have much say on upcoming bills, one of which will be the changes to the Presidential Election.
There wasn’t much debate nor allegations about new voting machines or citizens’ biometric IDs during this local elections. This will enable to organize the parliamentary and local elections simultaneously starting from 2016 – as decided in the revised Election Law.