Last week, the Mongolian parliament stunned pro-democracy advocates when it voted to remove the safeguards protecting the independence of its courts and its anti-corruption agency. In doing so, the parliament helped further President Khaltmaa Battulga’s ongoing attempt to consolidate power. The action follows months of scandal and protests, which facilitated the support Battulga needed for this week’s vote.
Many observers have considered Mongolia an unlikely “oasis of democracy” since it left the Soviet Union’s orbit in 1990. Now it’s the latest nascent democracy to begin sliding toward authoritarian rule. Before last week, Mongolian laws insulated judges from political pressure. Parliament appointed the head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), and the president appointed the prosecutor general.… Seguir leyendo »
On July 7, Mongolians elected a new president: Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party (DP), a former artist and world champion in the martial art of sambo. In the country’s first runoff election, Battulga won 50.6 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating Miyegombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which holds a supermajority in parliament.
Battulga was sworn into office on July 11, succeeding his co-partisan and outgoing president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who was ineligible for reelection, having served two consecutive terms. Thus, divided government — also known as cohabitation — continues in Mongolia: A DP president faces a parliament controlled by the MPP.… Seguir leyendo »
On June 26, Mongolians will elect a president from among three candidates: Enkhbold Miyegombo, leader of the governing Mongolian People’s Party (MPP); Battulga Khaltmaa, a former member of parliament from the main opposition Democratic Party (DP); and Ganbaatar Sainkhuu, a last-minute candidate of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP). Having served two terms, current President Elbegdorj Tsakhia of the DP is ineligible.
To win outright, a candidate needs an absolute majority of the votes; otherwise, a second round of voting will be held between the top two candidates.
Mongolia lacks what political scientists identify as prerequisites for a liberal democracy. Nevertheless, since a peaceful transition in 1990 from communism, democracy has proved remarkably robust, earning Mongolia praise.… Seguir leyendo »