Mongolia's Presidential Elections to See New Rules and Possible Return of Battulga
Lawmakers in Mongolia are considering new rules for presidential elections following a change in presidential terms under the modified constitution. The new rules dictate that the President shall serve a single six-year term.
However, President Khaltmaagiin Battulga could run for re-election in the 2021 presidential elections.
If President Battulga is re-nominated by the Democratic Party (DP) and re-elected in 2021, he will be able to serve another six years until 2027. His potential re-election could overturn democratic and liberal changes implemented by President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Sanjiin Bayar in the 2010s.
During the 2019 constitutional revision talks, President Battulga indicated his support for strengthening his personal power at the expense of legislative governance. This could be achieved by expanding his veto authority and granting the National Security Council final say on all key national decisions. However, the proposal did not receive parliamentary support.
Additionally, President Battulga may push for greater profits from mineral deposits, specifically by transferring 51 percent of the after-tax proceeds from the development of strategically vital mineral reserves to the sovereign fund. This proposal was rejected by MPP lawmakers during the constitutional change debate last fall.
Former President Elbegdorj and other top Democratic Party figures have been critical of President Battulga's authoritarian-style governance, and they may attempt to prevent his re-nomination by the DP in 2021.
This could lead the President to seek support from other parties. The upcoming presidential election in Mongolia is poised to have significant implications for the country's political future.
Amar Adiya is editor-in-chief of Mongolia Weekly newsletter and regional director at Washington-based strategic advisory firm BowerGroupAsia.