I will be updating, changing, adding to and deleting from this post continuously this morning (June 27 in Ulaanbaatar) as I sort my thoughts and understanding of the result of the presidential election.
At 8:30h it seems like the GEC is set to announce preliminary (I presume) results that make Elbegdorj a just-barely winner at 51% with Bat-Erdene getting 42% of the votes, and Udval 7%. All this on a low participation of record-low participation of 64%.
In the run-up, I was quite hesitant to make predictions, in part because there is no systematic basis for such predictions in the absence of polls and social statistics. I did suggest some outcomes and here’s my brief list of I-told-you-sos:
- Elbegdorj won, but barely
- Udval would show around 8%
- turn-out was a real issue
- Turn-out: even lower than I expected and higher in Ulaanbaatar than country-side
- Udval: result on the low end of expectation
- Elbegdorj support: what worked in campaign, though absent exit polls, we won’t know
I’ll try to pull together the actual figures as the GEC posts them or as they get picked up on-line.
A news.mn post offers numbers – though still incomplete – from this morning’s GEC announcement. A number of aimags were still missing and there now seems to be a GEC press conference planned for 11:30h.
It’s immediately obvious that Elbegdorj won big in Ulaanbaatar (with big numbers of citizens, of course). If we add the big six city districts (Bayangol, Bayanzurkh, Songinokhairkhan, Sukhbaatar, Khan-Uul, and Chingeltei) together, they gave Elbegdorj 530,000 votes compared to Bat-Erdene’s 290,000.
Stability, stability, stability! Isn’t that what happens when an incumbent is re-elected?
The very close result is not one that will obviously embolden Elbegdorj, nor his fellow DP leaders who may have an eye on the 2016 parliamentary election already. On the other hand, Elbegdorj hardly seems like a leader who will let himself be pushed into a lame duck position, just because this is his final term.
The most likely trajectory in the medium term is thus that Elbegdorj will continue to focus on the areas that he’s been somewhat focused on for the past four years and that are within the purview of the presidency: foreign relations and the judiciary. He will also continue to insert himself into governance questions at the highest level (especially Oyu Tolgoi), but also at a grass roots level through the citizens halls he has created.