The unique features of the 6th Presidential Election of Mongolia
2013 Presidential Election
The 2013 Presidential Election Campaign has officially started on May 22, in which three candidates received their mandates to run for president.
They were officially registered by the General Election Commission to run in the 6th Presidential Election in Mongolia. They are Ts.Elbegdorj, the current President of Mongolia, from the Democratic Party; former wrestler, champion B.Bat-Erdene, from the Mongolian People’s Party; and the Minister of Health, N.Udval, from the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party.
The candidates will conduct their election campaigns for 34 days in compliance with the law and regulations, and Mongolian citizens who are eligible to vote can do so on June 26.
This time, Presidential Election is distinct from the previous five Presidential Elections by given the current legal environment and the candidates.
1. The ballot papers to be automatically counted
The parliamentary meeting held on December 21, 2012 came up with a decision to allow using the automated technique and device, “New ImageCast,” in the operations of voter registration, poll taking, and ballot paper counting.
Accordingly, the ballot papers of the Presidential Election will be counted by an automatic device for the first time through Dominion Voting, the company that started providing the world market with election products in 2002. Mongolia introduced its ImageCast electronic voting machine in the Parliamentary Election, conducted last year. According to the local media, the ballot papers of the 2013 Presidential Election will be counted electronically by a machine.
2. First ever female candidate
The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party assembly held its meeting on May 11 and decided to endorse its member, Minister of Health N.Udval, to the 2013 Presidential Election.
She is the first ever female incumbent in the Presidential Election in the history of Mongolia. The issues of increasing women participation in politics and providing gender equality rights in all levels of state management are on the rise. In 2012, the highest number of women representatives or nine women were elected in the Parliament in the last election.
3. Candidates running on equal footing
In 2011, the law on elections adopted the cut-off method in the election campaign of the candidates and tightened penalty measures in case of violation.
For example, the new election law placed limits on the promotion board and the length of paid TV advertising. Accordingly, the candidates will be able to equally compete with each other and promote his or her campaign based on their platforms, not on the size of their purse. In other words, the candidates are provided with the same election campaign opportunities and conditions.
Moreover, the new law created a mechanism to ensure fairness in the election and to tighten accountability in the case of the law’s violation. Citizens will now supervise the election process. According to the presidential election law, if a candidate or other staff distribute money order to buy votes and a witness informs the police of this and provide evidence, he or she will receive a commission equivalent to 20 times the original amount of the vote from the General Election Commission.
4. The significance of social networks
Even though the promotion of a candidate is limited at a certain level, it is not prohibited by law to use social networks to express their views and thoughts. Thus, the main competition among candidates will be in the cyber world. Mongolians were introduced to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter relatively late. However, they are now very active users of it.
Thus, the roles of social networks will increase, as the promotion through television and usual forms of media such as the press is already capped at a certain level.
5. Mongolians residing abroad can now vote
In connection with the nationwide Presidential Election on June 26 the General Election Commission (GEC) has issued a statement on the election preparations and overseas voting.
According to the GEC, its preparations for the upcoming election will finish on time. Moreover, the electoral districts in 21 provinces, 334 soums, nine districts of Ulaanbaatar, and some 2,000 Precinct Election Commissions have already been established.
Moreover, Mongolians residing abroad and blind people will have the opportunity to vote.
Overseas Mongolians can cast their votes at the 39 Diplomatic Offices of Mongolia abroad from June 14 to 16, where about 170 personnel are in charge of the absentee poll.
Mongolians who work and live abroad should personally go to the office of their diplomatic representative of Mongolia and register via fax, email, or phone to vote in the upcoming election.
According to a study by the State General Registration Office with regard to preparing for the Presidential Election, a total of 39,800 civilians abroad have registered to vote in diplomatic representative offices of Mongolia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the GEC are now cooperating to count how many civilians are actually abroad who are eligible to vote in the Presidential Election.
The soul of the election campaign is the candidates’ slogans. Election campaign slogans have the power to influence the psychology of society. The business sector especially plays with these mottoes and catchy phrases. For instance, everybody is aware of “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard,” by Mastercard; “Because you’re worth it,” by L’Oreal; and “Red Bull gives you wings,” by Red Bull.
The political parties or candidates, who compete in politics, advertise and promote themselves with slogans and similar phrases that create a positive atmosphere in society, culminating in the upcoming election.
Former campaign slogans of previous candidates in the Presidential Elections of Mongolia include L.Tudev’s “Mongolians will save Mongolia;”P.Ochirbat’s “Will stop the transition period and will demolish the decline of the standard of living;” J.Gombojav’s “For Independence, justice, and the humble poor;”M.Enkhsaikhan’s “I will punish the corrupt;” B.Jargalsaikhan’s “Control and responsibility to the state, work and income for the nation;”B.Erdenebat’s “Nation gets along without political crisis;” and N.Enkhbayar’s “Mongolians are strong when they united.”
In the 2009 Presidential Election, incumbent official Ts.Elbegdorj ran with slogans such as “Let’s be fair,”“Let’s change,”and “I will be the President close to my people,” while another incumbent N.Enkhbayar competed with “Will bring responsibility to the state and the state grants responsibility to the nation.”
In the 2013 Presidential Election, incumbent Ts.Elbegdorj is running with his new slogan, “Let’s serve together for Mongolia.” Meanwhile, candidate of the Mongolian People’s Party B.Bat-Erdene has decided to run with his “Will support peace and unity. Will promote the right and correct.” He also started to spread the message of “My name is clean, my hand is clean, and my heart is clean” in the first phase of his campaign. So far, the election campaign slogan of the first woman candidate in the Presidential Election is not yet clear. But it is well known that she will run while introducing her action policy of “Five Policy – Five Missions.”
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