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  • Writer's pictureAmar Adiya

Voters Want Strongman Rule Instead of Weak Parliament

As Mongolia is going into a parliamentary election on June 24 the voters are increasingly looking into strongman rule instead of quarrelling and divided parliament composed of unpopular parties according Sant Maral's survey in May.

With reduced majority or even hung parliament outcome after June 24 elections public may further prefer a presidential political system in the coming years as people are apparently getting tired of 30 years of prolonged debates and arguments driven by diverse political parties.

Below are highlights from Sant Maral's survey.

On political system:

Over 70% preferred to have a democratically-elected strong man rule instead of parliament as 50% supported a strong president.They also made clear that they preferred an expert technocrat to rule rather than an army or military leader.
  • Interestingly more UB residents (42%) are not happy with the current democratic system than in rural areas (33%). Every third person thought the country was at crossroads of democracy and dictatorship while every fifth believed Mongolia is changing into dictatorship.  Only 10% supported the parliamentary system while 50% favour presidential and the rest mixed system.

  • Khurelsukh-led government has over 70% approval rating while the opposition (probably meaning Erdene-led DP)'s popularity is half of that of the government. This is not good news for the DP, which is eyeing to unseat Khurelsukh. But when voters asked whether the government is capable to solve their problems such as jobs, incomes and corruption over 60% thought the government (probably meaning administrative bureaucracies) was failing to be effective.

On natural resource governance:  

Over 80% thought large 'strategic' mining deposits should not be owned by foreigners (notwithstanding whether it was discovered by private or public funds).
  • The survey doesn't go into detail whether people against Chinese ownership or any other country. Current Khurelsukh's administration still bans issuing new exploration licenses until Dec 2020. And the government has established a new geology agency to do mining explorations on their own as only 2% thought the 'strategic' mines should be 100% privately owned according to Sant Maral's survey.

  • Over 60% believe that their interests are not represented in Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi suggesting the public view that they don't get enough benefits and want to change the OT investment agreement.

On pandemic

  • COVID-19 has become one of the top concerns for voters while jobs, income and corruption are still on top of people's minds. Almost 50% said that the government's pandemic response was successful.

  • In regards to election delay due to pandemic, voters are split in half. The majority supported continued restrictions and praised the government's response, which is contrasting with other countries where some protest lockdowns.

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