Mongolia – Presidential election

Mongolia held its presidential election on Sunday. The two candidates were the incumbent president and the candidate of the ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), Nambaryn Enkhbayar, and the candidate of the opposition Democratic Party and two-time former prime minister, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Mongolia Web cites the following result that apparently comes from the Election Commission:

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj – 51.24%
Nambaryn Enkhbayar – 47.44%

Prior to the election, opinion polls had indicated that the contest was neck-and-neck, with Elbegdorj holding a very slight lead. There was a televised debate between the two candidates on 21 May.

Only parties with representation in parliament can stand candidates. There are currently four such parties. The Civil Will Party and the Green Party declined to stand and supported Elbegdorj.

In the election, Elbegdorj’s was ahead by nearly 12% in Ulan Bator, where nearly half of the population resides, whereas Enkhbayar had a 2% lead in the provinces.

Last year, in what were widely seen as flawed elections, the MPRP won a majority in the Great Hural (legislature), winning 46/76 seats. However, the Democratic party claimed fraud and there were riots. In September 2008 a coalition government was formed in which the Democratic party was given 40% of the posts, including one of the two deputy prime ministers.

For the record, the coalition agreement talked about constitutional reform, one element of which would involve perhaps increasing the prime minister’s authority and clarifying the president’s powers.

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