DP brings out its hidden hand

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

Procedures of the three months prior to the election may be modified, as Deputy Head of the Democratic Party (DP) Sh.Tuvdendorj has initiated amendments to the Election Law and Parliament’s resolution on the establishment of electoral districts, district nominations, territory, and election centers.
Cabinet members reviewed the resolution during last Monday’s regular government meeting and announced that they didn’t have special recommendations for the draft.
Sh.Tuvdendorj explained his reasons for initiating the draft amendment. “Many people have complained that the transfer of provincial nominations to the capital conflicts with the views of administrative units, but Parliament didn’t take note of this issue. It’s possible to balance the representation of voters by making amendments to the Constitution, increasing the number of members of Parliament, and enabling the transfer of nominations from party list nomination to the capital,” he said, and added that a draft of his amendments will be submitted to Parliament shortly.
Party list nominations will be reduced from 28 to 22, and a nomination will be added for six districts in the capital according to Sh.Tuvdendorj’s draft. Passing these amendments would change Mongolia’s electoral system to a mixed system, but with a 54:22 counting process.
Spectators are deciding who the new system will benefit the most. They say that precisely because of profitability, MPs and ministers overlooked some provisions in the Election Law revised before the new year, specifying the approval of amendments to the Election Law six months before the election.
During the discussion of changes to the Election Law, the DP supported Head of City Council D.Battulga’s initiative to reduce the number of provincial nominees and increase nominations from the capital, but the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) disagreed. Arguments from both parties had reasonable grounds. The DP supported the increase of capital nominees in consideration of a considerably low number of residents in each soum. The MPP opposed, saying that provincial areas will become desolate and neglected if provincial districts are reduced. But as the politicians debated, both parties protected their own interests and made political decisions. Had the original draft of the amendment been approved, eight provincial districts from Uvs, Tuv, Zavkhan, Govi-Altai, Dornod and Khentii Provinces would have had to share one nominee, but the old system remained because many MPP members opposed the change.
The deputy head of the ruling party reopened the debate after three months and started another dispute, as he considers increasing Ulaanbaatar’s nominations to be more beneficial to the DP. This can be substantiated by a public opinion poll of political parties conducted last year. The poll showed that DP members were rated higher among Ulaanbaatar residents, while MPP members were more popular in provinces.
Draft initiator Sh.Tuvdendorj believes that his proposed changes will not change the basic concepts and structure of the Election Law. The MPP hasn’t expressed its position on this matter, but experts predict that the party will most likely oppose the initiative during its discussion.
As for smaller parties, their chances to attain a seat in Parliament will become much slimmer if the initiative is approved. The opportunity to earn a seat through party list nomination has been lowered through the new version of the Election Law to correct the faults of the proportional electoral system. On top of this, the election campaign period has been limited to 17 days. Taking this into account, smaller parties have a poor prognosis for earning a spot in Parliament.
Sh.Tuvdendorj is almost certain that the MPP will support the draft resolution to increase the number of nominations for the six districts of Ulaanbaatar. His certainty is connected to the MPP and independent MP’s many complaints made during last year’s parliamentary meetings about electing members from party list nominations.
If the DP plays its cards right, it will be able to increase the number of nominations for the capital and get the upper hand in the election, since their ratings are considerably high among Ulaanbaatar residents. Winning over voters from the capital ultimately means winning the election.
Political spectators say that the ruling party is suppressing the opposing party with their own policy. Reportedly, the MPP has only one explanation for disapproving of the initiative, which is to use the old provision that forbids touching the Election Law six months before the election. Experts forecast that Sh.Tuvdendorj’s amendment has an 80 percent chance of being adopted if discussed by MPs.

Source: news.mn

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18810

Posted by on Mar 14 2016. 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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