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  • Writer's pictureAmar Adiya

Constitutional Court Ruling Puts Khentii By-election in Limbo

Constitutional Court of Mongolia
Constitutional Court of Mongolia

The upcoming Khentii by-election, scheduled for June 30, has been dealt a severe blow by Mongolia's Constitutional Court. The court has ruled that the parliamentary decree issued to administer the election was unconstitutional, violating citizens' rights to run for elected office.

The decision was prompted by a citizen's petition, which claimed that the decree made it impossible for a newly-formed political party to field a candidate in the by-election due to the statutory limit of 180 days to register a new party.

In addition, the court found that the parliamentary decree instructing the Cabinet to allocate money for conducting the by-election from the government's special fund was unconstitutional.

Although the parliament can appeal the court decision, the full panel of the Constitutional court (7-9 judges) has the final say.

The ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which holds 64 seats out of 76 in parliament (75 if you don't count the Khentii seat), is being accused by opposition parties of interfering in the court's decision to delay the by-election. Meanwhile, 17,000 voters from Khentii remain without their representation in the parliament.

The by-election outcome will not change the power balance in parliament, but the Constitutional Court's decision has highlighted issues with the election process that need to be addressed.

The court's decision raises questions about the role of political parties in the electoral process and the need for reform to ensure a fair and democratic election system in Mongolia.

In the 2016 parliamentary elections, an MP representing Khentii province was removed from his position in 2018.

In June of that year, the Parliament made a resolution to hold by-elections in Khentii province after the MP suspended his mandate.

According to the law, the by-elections were scheduled to take place in October and the expenses for the elections were determined. However, problems arose when political party coalitions seeking to participate in the by-elections registered with the General Election Committee.

Complaints were then filed with the Central Election Commission, arguing that the Parliament's resolution was in violation of the law.


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