Mongolia held presidential elections on May 24. Mongolia’s Presidency is largely ceremonial, so this election was symbolic. In 2008, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP in English) won a majority of seats in the State Great Khural (coolest legislature name ever, obviously) in a disputed election. The Democratic Party (DP), a social-liberal/social-democratic party, which had formed a coalition government (the DP obtaining the Premiership) with the MPRP between 2004 and 2006, was soundly defeated. Sanjaagiin Bayar became Prime Minister.
In 2005, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, the leader of the MPRP was elected President, defeating quite easily Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan of the Democratic Party.
This year’s election opposed the incumbent, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, to the leader of the DP and ex-Prime Minister, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. Elbegdorj, who was educated in the United States (Harvard) campaigned on a “urban liberal” anti-corruption platform. Elbegdorj was able to build a coalition including other (much smaller) opposition parties, such as the Civic Will Party and the Greenies. To my surprise, Elbegdorj defeated Enkhbayar. In another good sign, Enkhbayar quickly conceded defeat. In 2008, weeks of political unrest followed the legislative election, which the DP claimed was rigged.
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (DP) 51.24%
Nambaryn Enkhbayar (MPRP) 47.44%
Mongolia probably counts white and null votes in the actual total, so that explains why these don’t add up to 100%. I don’t think they have a Eastern Europe-style “against all” option, but I may be wrong.
Elbegdorj won this election the cities, such as Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. While the MPRP continues to dominate in rural Mongolia, which has been the party’s traditional base, the DP won big in Mongolia’s urban districts. Elbegdorj won over 55% of the vote in Ulaanbataar city.