Preparations for the June 29 elections and election campaign are close to finishing. The General Elections Commission (GEC) reported that operations to print the ballot papers, check the counting machines and deliver them to electoral constituencies
have been completed under monitoring by observers consisting of the working team, political parties, coalitions and NGOs. There are 12 parties, 3 coalitions, their 429 candidates, and 69 independent candidates actively propagating themselves before midnight, June 27, the closing date to campaign. MPP, DP and MPRP made statements that hundreds of voters have moved from Ulaanbaatar to the countryside in an organized way before the voting date for parliamentary elections. In accordance with the Electoral Law, the right of individuals to change their residential address stopped on April 31. This right will be reinstated on June 30 – the day after the election. The Electoral Law rules that prohibit a change in a person’s residential address is only legal during parliamentary, presidential and local elections. However, there is no ban in changing electoral constituency. There are 2,004,048 people eligible to vote.
Some 150,000 Mongolians who are living abroad will not be able to vote, as the parliamentary elections will run according to a majority system. By June 19, a total of 18,063 voters registered their move, including 1,341 to Arkhangai, 2,059 to Bayankhongor, 3,237 to Uvs, and 2,943 to Khuvsgul, according to the State Registration and Statistics Office. “Many MPP candidates have an organized voter movement from one constituency to their constituencies. The movement of hundreds of voters can directly influence voting results as the number of voters in electoral constituencies in the countryside is low and their participation in elections is about 60 percent. Therefore the movement attacks the voters’ right to elect in provinces’ said DP Secretary General L.Erkhembayar. MPP made a denial statement against DP’s blame.
“- We revealed some violations related to voter’s lists and voters’ moving. For example, 15 persons at the almost same age were newly registered at one address. The voter should give his/her vote in a constituency where he/she has a permanent address. Every Mongolian wants to make the right choice and the movement of voters to give their votes. It is shameful to blame MPP for voters’ moving throughout the country.
We sent official letters to the GEC and State Registration and Statistics Office to prevent violations. We regret that the power-holding party is trying to stick their dirty works on our party” said MP S.Batbold from MPP. The MPRP election committee reported that hundreds of employees from big companies such as MCS, Genco Tour and Talkh Chiher plan to vacation in
Khuvsgul or Bayankhongor to cast their votes there and make their movement registrations. “- There are so many such cases. We addressed the Intelligence Department in connection with this issue. The Department has already started investigations regarding the issue and said that if a voter had moved with the purpose to vote, the voter, the organizer and state officials involved in it would take responsibility” said E.Erdenejamyan head of the MPRP election committee.
‘- We have a report that many voters requested to vote by moving to another constituency. There is a tendency that many of these voters move to one place. No ban on voters’ movement in relevant laws allows it. We have distributed extra ballot papers accounting for a small amount of moved voters. It is highly possible that ballot papers will be insufficient in some constituencies” said a GEC official B.Oyumaa. During the election campaign, one candidate from MPRP (Burgedaa Nanzad) was removed from the candidates list by GEC for the first time as the primary court confirmed that he had violated the election law by making promises. Currently, 240 foreign observers from four countries as well as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Germany, the
US International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Asian Network for Free Elections requested to observe the parliamentary election and obtained permission from the GEC. In addition, a team of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is also in Mongolia. This team consists of 180 seasoned election observers from 20 countries including the USA, Austria, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Romania, Finland and France.
They will observe the full electoral process from the preparatory stages to the voting date and afterwards.
The article is featured in the Mongol Messenger's issue for June 24, 2016.