Lawmakers are debating new rule over presidential elections following a change in presidential terms in the amended constitution. According to the new constitution, the President will now serve one-term for 6 years.
State Affairs committee chair Byambatsogt said that President Battulga had the opportunity to re-run in the 2021 presidential elections. Initially, this change was proposed to be effective from 2025 but it was dropped during the legislative debate last year.
This means President Battulga if re-nominated from the Democratic Party (DP) and re-elected in 2021, could serve another 6 years until 2027. Such a rise of Battulga could shape Mongolian politics in the 2020s likely reversing pro-Western and liberal reforms introduced by ex-President Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Bayar in 2010s.
During the constitutional reform debate in 2019, President Battulga made clear that his preference for increasing his own power at the expense of the parliamentary governance. He tried to increase his veto power by elevating the National Security Council to have a final say on all major decisions in the country. But it failed to get parlimentary support so far.
Furthermore, Battulga will likely further push his proposal on getting larger benefits from mineral deposits. Last summer, he proposed to institute a 51% of the after-tax profit from the exploitation of strategically important mineral deposits (read: OT and TT) to be transferred to the sovereign fund. The proposal was voted down by the MPP lawmakers during the constitutional reform debate last fall.
However, former president Elbegdorj and like-minded Democratic Party (DP) senior figures (ex-Ulaanbaatar mayor Bat-Uul) have been very critical of Battulga and criticized his preference for authoritarian-style governance.
They might try to block the re-nomination of Battulga from DP next year unless DP fails to get any seat in the parliament in June 2020, which could prompt the President to seek support from other parties in order to be re-nominated.