Election observers present preliminary findings
- By Misheel Lkhasuren -
- Jun 11,2021
Observers of the 2021 presidential election from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented their preliminary findings on June 10.
Head of the mission Lolita Cigane said, “Several prior ODIHR recommendations remain unaddressed, such as those relating to the exclusion of non-parliamentary parties and independent candidates from candidate nomination, despite substantial changes to the legal framework since the previous presidential election.”
“The majority of ODIHR SEAM interlocutors generally expressed confidence in the overall professionalism and impartiality of the election administration. The election administration managed the technical aspects of the electoral preparations in an efficient and professional manner and complied with legal deadlines.”
“Mobile voting took place on June 8, for 7,051 voters in self-isolation, in quarantine or under treatment in medical facilities, and for 18,568 others eligible for mobile voting. Voters who tested positive or who were placed in self-isolation or quarantine after the deadline were unable to vote.”
“Moreover, the law provides that the results of the vote-counting equipment are official, but does not address possible instances of discrepancies between the equipment and manual count. Contrary to international obligations and prior ODIHR recommendations, the Law on Presidential Election retains excessive restrictions on voting rights for persons deprived of legal capacity, including on the basis of intellectual or psychosocial disability, and persons serving a prison sentence, irrespective of the gravity of the crime. Some interlocutors pointed to long-standing shortcomings in the national address system and the detection of some dubious records in certain areas, albeit not as a major cause for concern. However, current limitations on access to voter list data precluded possibilities for meaningful independent verification,” she said.
The SEAM noted that the Democratic Party and, particularly, the Mongolian People’s Party campaigns were supported on several occasions by public officials. Some interlocutors expressed concerns related to the misuse of public resources and employees, which amplified the advantages of the ruling party. Some also raised concerns about the alleged continued practice of vote-buying, especially in rural areas. In the months ahead of the election, the government launched several substantial state programs to provide subsidies and other benefits to different social groups, imparted as responses to the economic and social impact of COVID-19, according to Lolita Cigane.
POLITICAL PARTIES EXPRESS VIEWS ON ELECTION
On June 10, the Democratic Party (DP) and Right Person Electoral Coalition (RPEC) that competed for the 2021 presidential election held a separate press briefing in connection with the election.
Lawmaker, candidate D.Enkhbat’s general election manager T.Dorjkhand said, “We conclude that this election is very different from the previous 30 years. Candidates did not blackmail each other in any way, and it was a low-cost election.”
“On behalf of our candidate and the coalition, I would like to thank the 246,955 voters who voted for us. In the 2020 parliamentary election, 209,000 people voted for RPEC, and a year later the number of voters rose to about 250,000. We are confident that we will continue to bring new winds to Mongolian politics, bring healthy politics, and nominate the right people.”
“Our coalition spent 1.2 billion MNT. All this money was collected through donations and transferred by Mongolians abroad. Please accept my deepest gratitude to all those who contributed. Moreover, there must be a political debate in any election. Let the threshold of a president Mongolia be high,” he added.
During the press briefing, Secretary General of DP Ch.Unurbayar noted that democratic elections are based on fair competition between political parties, and said that unfortunately, this system has disappeared.
“There is a history of our party going to great reconciliation after a great defeat. For example, the party lost in 1992 and won in 1996 as a coalition. In 2000, the party had one seat in Parliament, and then it joined a coalition and formed a joint government. In the future, in addition to parliamentary parties, DP will join democratic political parties. The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) is no different from a one-party dictatorship. DP will continue to fight against this. DP must change in line with the new times,” he said.
Member of the DP National Policy Committee O.Magnai stressed that in the past, money was distributed to citizens under the name of the 100th anniversary of MPP, and 100,000 MNT was distributed to herders.
“Out of the 10 trillion comprehensive plan to protect health and revive the economy, 2.5 trillion MNT was distributed to citizens. In general, MPP bought the state election with state budget money,” he added.