Mongolian legislative election, 2008: Wikis

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2004 Mongolia
Mongolian legislative election, 2008
All 76 seats to the State Great Khural
June 29, 2008
First party Second party
Replace this image male.svg Elbegdorj-1.jpg
Leader Sanjaagiin Bayar Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj
Party MPRP DP
Last election 37 seats (part of the Motherland Democracy Coalition)
Seats won 46 27
Seat change +9 -8

Incumbent PM
Sanjaagiin Bayar
MPRP

PM-elect
Sanjaagiin Bayar
MPRP

Mongolia

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Mongolia



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A legislative election in Mongolia was held on June 29, 2008. A total of 356 candidates were running for 76 seats in the State Great Khural. According to official results published on July 14, at least 39 seats went to the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), and at least 25 seats went to main opposition party, the Democrats (DP). Ten seats remained subject to possible recounts.[1]

After intermediate results published on June 30 showed a clear MPRP victory, DP chairman Elbegdorj declared on July 1 that the elections were rigged and that his party would not accept these results. Protests against the election results turned violent on the evening of July 1, and protesters sacked the MPRP headquarters in downtown Ulaanbaatar. Five protesters[2] were killed, and around midnight a four-day state of emergency was declared.

Contents

Election system

The candidates were elected from multi-seat constituencies in a Plurality-at-large system, with two to four seats per aimag or (in Ulaanbaatar) düüreg[3][4]. Previous elections had single-seat constituencies, and the new, more complicated voting system was reported to have lead to a delay in vote counting[5].

Of the 76 seats, 20 were elected from Ulaanbaatar, and the other 56 were elected from the aimags. Mongolian voter registration is essentially coupled with civil registration. Vote counting is not done publicly, and results of individual polling stations are not published. After the 2004 legislative elections had been contested in some constituencies, Mongolian voters now have their thumbs marked after casting their vote.

Pre-Election campaigns

311 candidates from 11 parties and one coalition, plus 45 independent candidates, were running for election,[6] only 28 of them being incumbent MPs.[7] Both the DP and the MPRP promised cash payouts in case of an election win. The DP promised 1,000,000 MNT (about 800 USD) per person in case of an election win. After first denouncing the idea of such payouts, the MPRP changed course and promised 1,500,000 MNT per person. Other issues were inflation and mining. As in previous elections, there were instances of candidates making monetary payments and other gifts to lure voters.

Official Results

According to final results published on July 14, the MPRP won at least 39 seats, the DP won at least 25, at least one seat was going to the Civic Will Party, and three seats were won by independent candidates. Results from three constituencies (Khentii, Dornod, and Bayangol) remained open.[1][8] On August 20, final results from Khentii were officially published, raising the number of MPRP seats to at least 42.[9] Turnout was 74.3%, considerably lower than the 82% of the 2004 election.[10]

e • d  Summary of the 29 June 2008 Mongolian State Great Khural election results
Parties Votes % Seats
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (Mongol Ardyn Khuv'sgalt Nam) 46
Democratic Party (Ardchilsan Nam) 27
Civic Will Party (Irgenii Zorig Nam ) 1
Civic Coalition (Irgenii Evsel) 1
Independents 1
Total (turnout %) 76
Source: IPU

Allegations of Fraud

After immediate results showed a clear MPRP victory, DP Chairman Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj declared that his party would not accept the election results, and alleged that the elections had been rigged.[11] On a press conference held on July 7, DP politicians D. Dorligjav, Z. Enkhbold and L. Gündalai declared that there had been massive irregularities with voter registration. Some of their claims were later repudiated by the central registry office.[12] Other allegations were irregularities in the counting process, and voter bribery. International observers, however, described the election as free and fair.[11][13]

Violence and state of emergency

Burnt-out MPRP headquarters, July 2008

In the evening of July 1, anti-MPRP protesters gathered in front of the MPRP headquarters, clashed with the police, and eventually set the building on fire. Police used batons, water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and apparently also life ammunition.[14][15] The Cultural Palace, north of the MPRP headquarters, was also set on fire.[16] Around midnight local time, President Nambaryn Enkhbayar declared a state of emergency to be in effect for the following four days.[17] Armored Personnel Carriers were deployed to the streets of Ulaanbaatar, a night curfew and a media blackout were declared.

Five people, all of them civilians, were killed in the riots: four were shot, and one apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The Mongolian minister of justice estimated 220 civilians and 108 service members were injured. Approximately 700 protesters were arrested.[18], of whom 140, including 13 minors and 3 women, have been sentenced to 2–7 years in prison as of October 31, 2008. [19]

On August 15 and 19 2008, ten police officers were arrested in connection with the shootings in the night of July 1/2. On August 20, relatives of these arrested officers organized a protest demonstration on Sükhbaatar Square.[20][21][22]

Political Aftermath

Elbegdorj said on July 18 that the DP would boycott the opening session of parliament on July 23. He also said that he was prepared to resign as DP Chairman if the 200 protesters still being held by the police were not released and the political crisis did not end.[23] However, the DP members were present in the opening session, with many of its members criticizing the Chairman of the General Election Committee, and the way the election was held. After Elbegdorj gave his party's position, members of the DP went out of the parliament. As a result, the new members of the parliament were not sworn in.

On August 28, most of the DP representatives in the new State Great Khural decided to attend parliament, and all but Ts. Elbegdorj were sworn in.[24][25] On September 11, S. Bayar was elected as new prime minister of a coalition government between MPRP and DP.[26] Ts. Elbegdorj finally was sworn in on the same day or on September 11.[27]

The members from Dornod (2 MPRP, 1 DP) were sworn in on 16 September 2008.[28] The members from Bayangol (2 MPRP, 1 DP, 1 Civic Coalition) were announced on 9 October 2008.[29]

In May 2009, nearly a year after the crisis, Elbegdorj defeated Enkhbayar in the presidential election.

References

  1. ^ a b Өдрийн сонин: Гурван тойргийн шийдвэр эцэслэн гараагүй байна (in Mongolian)
  2. ^ "Fatal clashes in Mongolia capital" (in English). London: BBC World News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7860539.stm. Retrieved July 02, 2008.  
  3. ^ "Mongolia to hold parliamentary election end of June", Xinhua (People's Daily Online), 2008-05-09.
  4. ^ "Changes to 2008 Parliamentary Elections System", Newswire.mn, 2007-12-06.
  5. ^ Mongolia sees counting of votes delayed by new election system. Mongolia Web News. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  6. ^ Preliminary results: Mongolia's ruling party wins parliamentary election. People's Daily Online. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  7. ^ Polling stations busy as voters queue up across Mongolia. Agence France-Presse. Google News. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  8. ^ Two parties win most seats in Mongolian parliamentary election - People's Daily Online
  9. ^ www.mongolei.de: Aktuelle Nachrichten aus der Mongolei / 25. bis 31. August 2008 (in German)
  10. ^ УИХ-ын сонгууль амжилттай єндєрлєлєє (in Mongolian). olloo.mn.
  11. ^ a b Opposition alleges fraud in Mongolia vote. Reuters. 2008-07-01.
  12. ^ www.mongolei.de: Aktuelle Nachrichten aus der Mongolei / 7. bis 13. Juli 2008 (in German)
  13. ^ UBPost: Observers Believe Mongolian Election 'Reflected the Will of the People', July 24th, 2008
  14. ^ Mongolia: President Enkhbayar Releases Statement. Mongolia Web News. 2008-07-01.
  15. ^ UBPost:MP Battulga Speaks About Riot Aftermath
  16. ^ Mongolia Cultural palace in flames. Mongolia Web News. 2008-07-01.
  17. ^ Mongolia: MPRP building in flames, president declares emergency. Mongolia Web News. 2008-07-01.
  18. ^ Magnie, Mark. Postelection violence in Mongolia leaves 5 dead. Los Angeles Times. 2008-07-03.
  19. ^ The number of convicts sentenced to prison for July 1st incident reached 140
  20. ^ UBPost: Arrested Mongolian Police Officers are Suspects in Post-Riot Death Investigations
  21. ^ Mongolia Police Arrest Controversy Continues; Officers and Their Families Protest
  22. ^ www.mongolei.de: Aktuelle Nachrichten aus der Mongolei / 18. bis 24. August 2008 (in German)
  23. ^ "In Mongolia Democratic Party Seems Divided, Elbegdorj announces possible resignation", Mongolia Web, July 19, 2008.
  24. ^ http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/6489014.html
  25. ^ http://www.mongolei.de/news/2008aug5.htm
  26. ^ AFP: Mongolian parliament elects PM after turmoil
  27. ^ Ts. Elbegdorj Sworn In
  28. ^ http://www.montsame.mn/index.php?option=com_news&task=news_detail&tab=200809&ne=1415
  29. ^ http://www.mongolei.de/news/2008okt1.htm

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