Presidential election campaign wraps up, mobile voting begins

2021-06-08 12:11:49

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The nationwide polls for the 2021 presidential election of Mongolia are about to begin in less than 24 hours - at 7 AM, June 9, Wednesday. Election campaigning for Mongolia’s presidential election has officially ended at 12 AM, June 8, after running for 15 days, with the election silence period now launched. 

Candidates - U.Khurelsukh from the Mongolian People’s Party, S.Erdene from the Democratic Party and D.Enkhbat from the Right Person Electorate Coalition - are vying for the presidency. Throughout the campaigning period, the three candidates had travelled throughout the country to meet with voters and undertake campaign activities, including distribution of promotional materials to voters, political advertising on radios, TVs and online, outdoor billboard advertisements and operating campaign offices.

On June 5, Saturday, candidate from the Right Person Electorate Coalition D.Enkhbat tested positive for coronavirus while touring across rural aimags for political campaigning. He cancelled all of his future campaign activities and arrived in Ulaanbaatar for mandatory isolation and treatment at a state hospital. With urging from the Right Person Electorate Coalition, with one seat in the current parliament, the Mongolian People’s Party’s candidate office also agreed to move their presidential campaign online amid the increasing transmission rate of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. 

On June 7, the Mongolian National Broadcaster - public service broadcaster of Mongolia, which had been planning to hold a presidential debate on the evening of the same day, announced that it was cancelling the only presidential debate for the 2021 election. 

There are a total of 2,151,329 eligible voters registered to vote for the presidential election on the polling day, which is to run from 7 AM to 10 PM of June 9. Out of them, 1,009,755 voters are in Ulaanbaatar city and 1,141,574 voters in the rest of the country. 

Mobile voting using sealed ballot boxes are currently underway today, beginning from 9 AM to run until 8 PM, with election officers accompanied by observers and security officers are carrying sealed mobile ballot boxes to the places of residency of the voters. In accordance with the law on presidential election, voters, who are unable to come to the polling station by themselves are allowed to be polled through a mobile box on the day before the polling day. 

Those voters include people, who cannot come to the polling station in person due to their health conditions, who are undergoing public mobilization, who are apprehended, detained, or convicted due to administrative offences or who are apprehended or imprisoned due to legal procedure, and who are serving at army and border troop units. The ballot boxes will be opened on the actual polling day and the ballot papers will be put into the voting machines tomorrow morning at the same time of the launch of the polls.

As reported by the General Election Commission, there are 25,619 voters who are eligible for mobile voting, including around 7,000 people who are staying under compulsory isolation at home or hospitals due to COVID-19 infection or coming into close contacts with COVID-19 patients. The presidential election for 2021 is the first election to enable those under COVID-19 isolation to vote, as approved by the government’s temporary regulation on prevention of COVID-19 during the 2021 presidential election. 

By the presidential election law, sales and serving of alcoholic beverages between June 8 and 10 will be prohibited as well as any art and cultural performances and sports tournaments involving a large groups of people will not be organized during these days.

For the presidential election, the candidate winning more than 50 percent of the votes cast is awarded the contested seat. If no candidate secures a majority in the first round of the tomorrow's election, another round will be organized with two candidates with the most votes. With latest amendments to the Constitution of Mongolia made in December 2019, the new president will be appointed for a single six-year term, instead of the renewable four-year term. 

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