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Mongolia News / Politics / January 6, 2016

Amendments to the election law

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A revised version of the Law on Elections was approved in the last week of December 2015. The upcoming parliamentary elections will take place with the new changes applied.

The 2016 parliamentary elections will run by a 48:28 proportional system for Parliament’s 76 seats. Politicians and large political forces, particularly the Democratic Party and Mongolian People’s Party, believe that there is no need to make changes to the election system, to keep it stable. Under the new version of the law, amendments have been made to the selection of 28 seats, with members selected by a party to be put forward for election. Voters will have to select a political party on their ballot and make choices from the candidates running campaigns under that party.

Parliamentary and local elections to be held together

Previously, parliamentary, presidential, city council, and local elections were regulated under separate laws. Now, all the elections will be regulated by one law. Parliamentary elections will be held on the same day as elections for city and local councils. Lawmakers believe that the measure will cut costs and reduce partisan politics.

Candidates used to run in local elections by party list, but now local elections will run under a non-partisan system.

A candidate running for an executive position in state services or legal bodies that are engaged in ventures with the state must resign from their current post three months prior to the election. Other state servants can proceed with their duties while running a campaign for local elections.

Political parties and citizens have been critical of counting ballots by machine, with suspicions that the machines can be tampered with to change results. Following negotiations between political parties, a decision was made to do a hand counting of ballots, counting ballots from 50 percent of electoral precincts manually and to count the remaining ballots by machine.

Citizens can donate up to 5 million MNT to campaigns

In accordance with amendments to the law, political parties will bear the responsibility of keeping the names of citizens and legal entities who make large campaign donations open to the public. The law calls for reducing campaign spending and to allow candidates to post promotion materials and posters on billboards along streets and squares for free in order to save state funds.

The election law previously stated that a citizen could make a maximum donation of one million MNT, and entities a maximum donation of three million MNT. Lawmakers have now set the maximum donation amount for citizens at five million MNT, and 15 million MNT for legal entities. The current law says that candidates can spend their own legal income on an election campaign, but that all spending must be reported.

The term to resolve disputes over elections has been shortened under the current law, allowing a maximum of 60 days to resolve a dispute.


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