General Election Commission inquired about preparations for Parliamentary elections

2020-04-09 16:18:58
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga called a meeting today with chairman and members of the General Election Commission (GEC) to discuss about its preparatory actions for the upcoming parliamentary elections due June 2020.

Due to the fact that the elections are coinciding with the critical circumstances of coronavirus outbreak, the Head of state inquired about the measures for ensuring public safety and preventing public gatherings and other events.

Present at the meeting were Chairman of GEC Ch.Sodnomtseren, Secretary  Ts. Boldsaikhan, members O.Amgalanbaatar, G.Baigalmaa, E.Batbold, D.Bayanduuren, B.Ganbat, R.Sodkhuu and U.Enkhtur.

Informing that some of the world countries have postponed their elections while some are holding the elections as per schedule, the GEC Chairman, Mr. Sodomtseren said “While continuing to work to ensure smooth preparation for the elections, the GEC is carefully observing the situation in the country concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and looking into measures being taken by the Ministry of Health. It is inevitable that the parliamentary elections might have to be postponed in the conditions where large-scale life-threatening situation arises. 

He continued “As regulated in the Constitution of Mongolia and the law on elections, the State Great Khural – parliament of Mongolia has the authority to postpone the election due to extraordinary circumstances.” 

The GEC delegates informed that voting will take place at a total of 2,070 polling stations nationwide and it would be difficult to follow guidelines to avoid gathering in group of a large number of people on the voting day, and also during the election campaign days, when candidates travel around the area they are running in and meet with voters. 

The GEC Secretary Ts.Boldsaikhan suggested tasking the Ministry of Health to conduct risk assessment study. He noted that the number of workers to be appointed from electoral units and committees cannot be reduced due to the polling procedures.

D. Bayanduuren, a member of GEC, highlighted that sticking to the coronavirus precautions would be impossible as rural polling units will be accommodated in Gers (traditional housing).

“The important point we cannot overlook is whether the citizens will or will not vote. What happens if voters wouldn’t show up? This is why we have to run a public poll beforehand”, said U.Enkhtur, a member of the Commission.

At the end of the meeting, President Battulga touched on the issues of inevitable public gatherings, registering by fingerprint, use of facemasks and gloves, and their supplies.

The dignitary also underlined the necessity to bring back Mongolian citizens abroad as their living conditions could worsen. He obligated GEC to take into account the probability of increased imported COVID-19 cases.

The GEC representatives promised to call a meeting next week to formulate and submit recommendations to the State Great Khural (parliament) and the Cabinet.

Two weeks ago, President Battulga issued an address to the people of Mongolia, in which he suggested to postpone the 2020 Parliamentary election scheduled on June 24 to save on election expenses to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and ease its economic impact, and voiced the same proposal at the opening of the spring session of the Mongolian parliament on Monday. However, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh did not support his recommendations, considering that delaying the election is unnecessary.