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Mongolia's Mangled Politics

How the Parliamentary Election Will Play Out

Central square in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, October 13, 2011. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Given how unhappy Mongolians are with their current government, which they consider inept and corrupt, it would seem that there would be more excitement surrounding the country’s parliamentary elections on June 29. After all, there are 11 competing parties to choose from. But according to a poll conducted by the Sant Maral Foundation, Mongolia’s major polling organization, respondents expressed little confidence in any of them. Barely 14 percent said they would support the Mongolian People’s Party, the leading opposition party, and only 11 percent backed the ruling Democratic Party. Meanwhile, over one-third reported that they did not trust any of the parties to properly lead the country, and 77 percent stated that none of the parties accurately represented public opinion. Part of the problem is that Mongolia is in the middle of a steep recession due, in large part, to China’s declining demand for Mongolian minerals, and none of the political

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