Who will be the fifth President of Mongolia?
- By Khash-Erdene Bayarsaikhan -
- Jan 09,2017
Last year, the world watched as the most astounding presidential election in recent history unfolded in the USA. Mongolia will choose its fifth president this year. The Presidential Election Law forbids media outlets from organizing polls in an election year. This week, Ikon.mn published a poll conducted from December 12 until 31 among Mongolia’s top three political parties. In the poll, 12,418 people were asked: Who will you support in the presidential election? The poll indicated that the top contenders from the Mongolian People’s Party, which holds 65 out of 76 seats in Parliament, are Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold (2,430 votes) and Vice Speaker Ts.Nyamdorj (2,233 votes). The pair collected nearly 80 percent of all 5,951 votes cast within the party. Other notable runners from the Mongolian People’s Party were decorated wrestler and legislator B.Bat-Erdene (379 votes), former Prime Minister S.Batbold (343 votes), and Member of Parliament N.Enkhbold (337 votes). More people voted in the Democratic Party, with 6,142 votes cast in total. The top prospects of the Democratic Party were former prime ministers R.Amarjargal (2,922 votes) and N.Altankhuyag (2,104 votes). Other notable contenders were former Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul (538 votes), Member of Parliament L.Bold (274 votes) and former Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg (222 votes). The third party eligible to nominate a candidate for the Presidential Election 2017 is the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. 3,025 members of the party were asked: Who will you support in the presidential election? A resounding 71.6 percent, or 2,165 people, said they would support former President N.Enkhbayar. The eligibility of N.Enkhbayar in the upcoming presidential election is also a debated topic. N.Enkhbayar was not allowed to run in the parliamentary elections of 2016 as he was convicted for corruption in 2012. The former president was released through a presidential pardon in the same year. From the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, 2012 presidential candidate N.Udval came in second with 450 votes. The current law demands state office holders vying for the presidency to hand in their job before the election year, which means the Speaker and Vice Speaker cannot run for office under the current law. Last week, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on State Structure agreed to discuss amendments to the Presidential Election Law. During the meeting, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party’s legislator O.Baasankhuu said such an action goes against principle and is unconstitutional. He also demanded that opposition legislators be present during the discussion of the amendment.
Key Powers of the President of Mongolia
- Nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, who is then approved or rejected by Parliament.
- Veto Parliament's legislation (which can be overridden with a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament)
- Approve judicial appointments
- Appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Mongolia
- Chair the National Security Council
- Act as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
- Nominate the Prosecutor General, the official in charge of implementing the laws, who is then approved or rejected by Parliament