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Mongolia’s democracy needs updating

By E.OYUNDARI

The 25th anniversary of Mongolia’s first free, democratic parliamentary election is being celebrated widely in Mongolia. On July 29, 1990, Mongolian people gave votes to the candidates they considered to be the right people to rule the state in the right way.
In the second half of the last century, Mongolians knew what the election was, and knew that they had to vote for someone on a scheduled date. However, the vote they gave was not their personal decision, based on their beliefs or their intelligence. They used to vote for someone the political party ordered votes for. It was dark times when one refused that unhealthy system, and his or her descendants were considered rivals, and were discriminated against and lost their livelihood.
Thanks to the democratic revolution of 1990, Mongolians obtained the freedom to unite under their views and make their personal views and positions public. July 29, 1990, was the day when the people of Mongolia united and showed that elections were not a script written by a single political party.
Prominent political figures arrived at Wednesday’s ceremony in honor of the anniversary of the first Mongolian democratic election, highlighting that July 29 is a historic day, when Mongolians created their state and governance by themselves.
“The parliamentary election of 1990 was a pure and uncorrupt election, because at that time, no one had a thing to give as a bribe and no one had a thing to get,” stressed the first President of Mongolia, P.Ochirbat, in his remarks at the ceremony. Compared to 1990, Mongolians now have things to give and things to get. People at the ceremony were saying with regret that Mongolian democracy’s pure and innocent wish and purpose disappeared as Mongolians gained wealth. Some attendees of the event firmly noted that it is time to understand the real meaning of Chinggis Khaan’s quote: “It is easy to conquer the world on a horse, but it is challenging to settle the state landing from a horse.”
President Ts.Elbegdorj said we should take care of and love our democracy, but Mongolia’s democracy needs updating. Twenty-five years ago Mongolians could say the Emperor wear no clothes, but now we need the courage to say, “we are naked”.
Dark circumstances that did not exist 25 years ago, such as a candidacy and procedure to divide electoral districts and units, are now dependent on the amount of money in a politician’s pocket. Candidates use black and white PR to betray the votes of citizens, make fake promises to win elections, and speak of dreams rather than realizing goals and their own positions. They have left Mongolians naked.
July 29 is dedicated to the memory of democracy. The young generation believes that democracy was naturally born in Mongolia. Today’s youth think it is a really old, scripted film; when we reminisce about the days of socialism when people were taught and trained what to think, what to talk about, what to wear, and what to read and watch. They had no rights to own even a goat and had no way to live with alternative income besides their salary. They were banned and punished for drinking, smoking and disrupting public order. They had only one television channel and it only showed propaganda from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. All articles published in newspapers were monitored by the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, and an organization called the Authority of Literature Monitoring controlled and issued approvals to publish articles. Chewing gum was a really rare product. Coca Cola and jeans were only seen in magazines brought by students studying overseas. Ordinary citizens shopped in ordinary markets, but meanwhile, directors and authorities were served at special stores.
There is a necessity to pass on these memories to today’s youth, and teach them that the current society in Mongolia was fought for by their parents and grandparents, and that they should preserve and protect this opportunity obtained by older generation.
The process to introducing democracy to the fabric of Mongolia is on the way. Therefore, instilling memories of democracy in the youth is like planting young trees. Five years later, ten years later, they will plant more democratic saplings, and like a sapling, democracy will grow and provide us with oxygen.

Photo source: News.mn

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=15567

Posted by on Jul 30 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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