News & Info

Mongolia's Election, 2024

2024-07-02 15:53

"Mongolia’s governing party wins only a slim majority in parliamentary election, early results show"


Updated 9:56 AM GMT+9, June 29, 2024

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — Mongolia’s governing party won parliamentary elections Friday but by only a slim margin as the opposition made major gains, according to tallies by the party and news media based on near-complete results.

Preliminary results released early Saturday indicated the governing Mongolia People’s Party won 68 seats in the 126-seat body, “meaning we have won the election,” Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai said.

The results were a setback for Luvsannamsrai and his party, which won 62 of the-then 76 parliament seats in the 2020 election. They will have a much less dominant position in the expanded parliament.

Official results had not been announced, due to the difficulties of gathering results from far-flung corners of the nation.

Tallies by Mongolian media indicated the opposition Democratic Party won 42 seats — a big jump from 2020 as opposition parties capitalized on voter discontent and cut into the governing party’s majority. The center-right HUN Party and two smaller parties looked set to take the  remaining 16 seats.

“Through this election, people gave their evaluation on the past policy mistakes of the ruling party,” said Democratic Party leader Gantumur Luvsannyam.

Luvsannamsrai thanked even those who didn’t vote for his party, saying that for the first time five to six parties had been elected to the parliament was a “new page” in Mongolian democracy.

“Having diverse and contrasting opinions is the essence of democracy. Your criticisms will be reflected in our actions,” he said.

Julian Dierkes, a Mongolia expert at the University of British Columbia, said the Democratic Party’s strong performance showed a desire for a change in personnel, but not in policy.

He called the result surprising given internal problems within the Democratic Party and its unimpressive campaign.

“I am very disappointed in the result,” said Shijir Batchuluun, a 35-year-old marketing manager in the capital Ulaanbaatar. He said by telephone that the younger generation hadn’t turned out to vote. “It’s all the same thing again. Singers, wrestlers, businessmen won.”