Mongolia’s Dance with Democracy: Some Steps Back and Some Forward

My new article is on the with Prof Fernando Casal Bertoa

Last Wednesday, Mongolia held its 8th parliamentary elections since the democratization of the country in 1990. However, these were the first ones to take place amidst a pandemic.

Notwithstanding fears among important sectors of the population and some institutions, including the president who had called for postponing the contest, almost three-quarters of the population turned out to vote with great normality.

The post-communist Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which had already gained a constitutional majority at the last 2016 parliamentary elections, won again by a landslide.

The party acquired 62 of the 76 seats in parliament, while the main opposition party, the liberal-conservative Democratic Party (DP), won just 11. The other three seats went to an independent candidate and two social-democratic parties. Thirteen 13 of the 76 seats went to female candidates, the highest number since the first democratic elections 30 years ago.

On the one hand, MPP’s victory was favored by the good management of the pandemic. Despite Mongolia’s proximity to China, MPP has managed to keep the number of infections low with just 219 cases, all of them coming from abroad. No one died from the virus in the country. This, in comparison with other more economically developed countries such as the US, UK, or Italy, has been considered an enormous success.

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