By Elena Fehrbach
As a result of the 2013 presidential elections, the General Election Commission (GEC) of Mongolia has announced the victory of Ts.Elbegdorj, who has been re-elected for a new term.
Ts.Elbegdorj and the Democratic Party, which he is representing, gained 50.23 percent of votes. B.Bat-Erdene from the Mongolian People’s Party is the second voted candidate with 41.97 percent of votes. N.Udval, the Minister of Health of Mongolia and the only female candidate for the post of the President held 6.5 percent of votes. Ms. Udval is representing Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. Total share of the population participating in the elections was 66.49 percent.
The final voters’ choice corresponds to the pre-election analysis of voters’ preferences. Based on the analysis, before elections Ts.Elbegdorj was leading with approximately 54 percent share of potential votes, B.Bat-Erdene had 39.5 percent share of potential votes and Ms. Udval’s share of potential votes was approximately 6.5 percent. Such split of potential votes was quite intriguing in terms of the possible ownership of the majority of votes at the elections.
The Parliament of Mongolia has approved the authority of Ts.Elbegdorl on a plenary session. The official inauguration and oath-taking ceremony took place on July 10 on a central Sukhbaatar Square of Ulaanbaatar, in front of the Chinggis Khaan statue at the Government Palace. This is the first time when the inauguration ceremony was conducted on the square, as previously oath-taking ceremonies has always took place inside the Great Hall of the Palace. The Law on Inauguration of the President of Mongolia was adopted in 1993 and specifically for 2013 inauguration ceremony it has been amended to allow outdoor inauguration ceremonies.
OSCE assessment of the elections process
The Organization for Securities and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and its affiliate Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has released overall very good assessment of the elections process outlining a number of violations of Copenhagen Document by which Mongolia should strive to comply. Mongolia joined OSCE in November 2012 and since that time Mongolian government agreed to comply with the rules related to democratic elections as set by the Copenhagen Document.
“The voting process was positively assessed in 99 percent of the cases observed”, as noted by Ms. Audrey Glover, the Head of OSCE /ODIHR mission. The drawbacks revealed by the elections mission include independence of the media, very strict criteria for candidates to be eligible to run for elections, candidates making pledges of a financial nature during elections campaign and lack of debate among candidates. But even taking into consideration the overall judgment about press not being independent, 2013 elections campaign showed respect for fundamental freedoms of association, movement and assembly.