Promises don’t put food on the table

One of the three presidential candidates will win the election and his or her policy will have an influence on the quality of your life – through your wallet – for the next four years. Nice promises cannot put food on the table. It will, of course, be different if the promises are actually realized. However, if every promise made by our politicians came true, Mongolia would have already surpassed Singapore and Switzerland in terms of quality social welfare by now.
While the President of the United States is the head of state and head of the government, our president is only assigned the duties of head of state. This means that the powers of our president will have relatively less impact on our economy as opposed to the office’s U.S. counterpart. The president of Mongolia has the powers to fully or partially veto legislation passed by the parliament, nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, and appoint judges for the Supreme Court of Mongolia. Also, our president is granted with the rights to represent our country abroad, sign international agreements, award national honors or medals, and appoint or withdraw ambassadors to represent the interests of Mongolia in a foreign country. Furthermore, the president can provide directives to the government on issues that are associated with presidential authority, but these directives are only effective with the Prime Minister’s approval.
Due to their power and authority being restricted, the president cannot immediately implement an agenda regardless of which candidate is elected. That is why their agendas are full of phrases such as “will support” or “aim at achieving” and it’s difficult to measure the likelihood of implementation. Nevertheless, the President can have influence over the government as long as he or she fully employs his or her power and authority.
Let us have a closer look at how the economic policies are reflected in the agendas of the three presidential candidates, and what they have to say about the creation of jobs, as it is directly connected to the quality of people’s lives. Every candidate had included a separate part in their agenda that explains their economic policy. Ts.Elbegdorj, the candidate from the Democratic Party (DP), called it “A policy to support the producers” while B.Bat-Erdene, the candidate from the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), has stated that “The foremost duty of a president is to support a policy that will lead to economic development”. N.Udval, the presidential candidate from the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) believes, “The independence of our sovereign country shall be protected and strengthened by economic means”. The Democratic Party candidate’s agenda was well prepared, while the MPP’s was twice as short compared to it and MPRP candidate’s agenda was twice as short compared to the MPP’s. Now, let us look into what objectives they’ve put forth in their agendas regarding new jobs and vocational training, and attempt to estimate the likelihood of these promises coming true.


A nation’s number of jobs and level of productivity are very important macroeconomic indicators. New jobs can only be created with public and private investment. Public investment mostly goes into infrastructure while private investment goes into other sectors under the principle of fair competition. Private investment experiences positive changes when tax pressure is alleviated and bank interest rates are lowered. As a consequence, businesses expand and thousands of jobs are created.
Ts.Elbegdorj, the DP candidate, has come forward with very general objectives such as reducing pressure from taxes and bureaucracy, purchasing domestically made products with the public budget, and erasing complications in the investment environment. He also encourages investment in infrastructure and providing support to the construction of new railroads, manufacturing of combustibles, and the removal of disparity in prices and tariffs.
B.Bat-Erdene, the MPP candidate, says that he will conduct policies to improve the tax system, revenue allocation and its reallocation, all in order to support small and medium industries and private business owners. Furthermore, he aims to establish herder cooperatives with government involvement and create a national supply chain of animal husbandry products. In addition, B.Bat-Erdene says that he will support environmentally friendly policies that are based on animal husbandry, domestic industries and the power of knowledge, rather than focusing on the mining industry. He also tells us that he will improve the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement terms so that they will be more mutually beneficial and well-balanced.
N.Udval, the MPRP candidate, proposes to implement policy aimed at ensuring foreign investments as mutually profitable and fair, and providing favorable conditions to domestic investors. Also, she says that she will find the best way to manage mineral resources, especially the strategic deposits at Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi, ensuring that the greatest benefits go to the people. On top of that, her agenda proposes that economic sustainability will be preserved by establishing long-term international agreements to supply raw materials.


Investment in education, its benefits and quality education at all levels, especially technical, vocational education and training (TVET) schools, have a great impact on an economy’s long-term competitiveness.
Elbegdorj promises to call on migrant workers to return home, help them set up businesses, prepare assistant workers for them and provide vocational training to adults. If elected again, he will put a restriction on the hiring of foreign workers and implement a program to boost the value of labor, create safe and healthy working environments, and improve productivity in collaboration with trade unions.
On the other hand, Bat-Erdene brings forward an objective to make science the main drive of our society, and to provide support to the fruitful efforts of our scientists and scholars by creating a merit-based system that rewards mastering the challenges of everyday life in economic and social spheres.
Udval says that she will support developing more efficient, but shorter, curriculums in higher education institutions so students will have time to participate in development projects and activities in the summer, and go to school from November to March. Another goal of hers is to follow the trend of developed countries and replace monthly salaries with hourly wages in order to realistically improve the value of work done by citizens.
The candidates are making promises, the results of which are immeasurable, and giving no mention of timelines. It proves that the president has no direct role in the executive branch, but can only have some influence at the policy level.


Let us assume that the agendas of the candidates, reflects the position of their respective political parties. It puts them on a commonly used political spectrum where a party is placed to the right if their policy focuses on free market principles, or to the left if their policy prioritizes strong government involvement.
The Democratic Party, which claims to be center-right but whose activities indicate that of a center-left political party, has its ideology set out in the agenda of Elbegdorj. They did not mention that electric power will disappear from our lives unless its pricing is regulated by free market principles, and that the value of labor can only improve with increased productivity rather than working together with the Trade Union.
The Mongolian People’s Party, which Bat-Erdene belongs to, is placed in the middle, between the far left and the center. Its placement can be justified by the party’s focus on revenue allocation, establishing government-involved cooperatives and “improving” the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. In addition, they have a socialist goal to make education and science then nation’s leading sectors, and are assigning more importance to them than they do to industrial development.
The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, represented by Udval in this presidential election, can be placed between the far left and the MPP. Its placement is backed up by the fact that they are ignoring the interests of investors, focusing more on the supply of raw materials than end products, and attempting to mobilize students for development activities.
There is an immediate need to hold a presidential debate where the candidates can present and exchange their intended policies about many issues, instead of only one topic about economy. As a person who is independent from media owners and has no political affiliation, I propose to broadcast the presidential debate nationwide on the last day of the election campaign, and carry out the role of moderator in the debate in order to help the people make their decision who to vote for.

Translsted by B.AMAR

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=4493

Posted by on Jun 24 2013. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Recently Commented

  • Oyun: www.theblueeconomy.org
  • Honheree: It is a sad and awful sight to see so many animals dead from dzuds. These have happened in the past and since 2004 there have...
  • Harvey Dent: Mongolia does not get 476,000 tourists a year. Its gets 476,000 arrivals, most of these are Chinese construction workers....
  • Honheree: It is good but unusual that a Mongolian is so forthright. I am D. Ganbold will be criticised by Mongolians for telling the...
  • Honheree: Be thankful Mongolia is so cheap. In USA lamb in stores costs 69,281 MNT /kg and sirloin which is cheaper cut of beef is...