DP protests Bayanzurkh District mayoral appointment

Police use tear gas against protesters inside the Bayanzurkh District Mayor's Office

Members of the Democratic Party have spoken out against the March 2 appointment of E.BatAmgalan as Mayor of Bayanzurkh District. The opposition to the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar’s appointment follows a hotly contested election for seats on the district’s Citizen’s Representative Council.

In the October 2016 elections for the Citizen’s Representative Council, the Democratic Party (DP) won 22 seats on the Bayanzurkh District council and the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) won 19 seats.

Following the announcement of the result of the election, complaints were filed alleging that six of the newly elected DP candidates violated the Law on Elections during the campaign. In response to complaints, Bayanzurkh District’s Criminal Court decided that five out of the six candidates accused, including B.Saruul, A.Tumennasan, M.Mendbayar, Sh.Ganchimeg, and D.Ulambayar, had violated some sections of the Law on Elections.

New Citizen’s Representative Council elections will take place in October for the five open seats. Following the court’s ruling, the MPP holds 19 seats on the district’s council and the DPP holds 16 seats.

Holding the majority of seats, the MPP nominated a candidate for the Mayor of Bayanzurkh District. After Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold appointed the MPP’s E.Bat-Amgalan as Mayor
of Bayanzurkh District on March 2, DP members party members residing in the Bayanzurkh District protested Mayor S.Batbold’s decision.

On March 3, the Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Munkh-Erdene, Head of the Ulaanbaatar Mayor’s Office M.Otgonbayar, and other officials held a press conference about Mayor S.Batbold’s decision concerning the appointment of E.Bat-Amgalan.

D.Munkh-Erdene pointed out that all of Ulaanbaatar’s districts had mayors in place, but Bayanzurkh District only recently has a mayor because the district’s criminal and appeals courts had only recently ruled on complaints concerning DP candidates who had won five council seats.

He stated that E.Bat-Amgalan was nominated by the majority of the 35 representatives of the Bayanzurkh District Citizens’ Representative Council, so Mayor S.Batbold appointed E.Bat-Amgalan as the district’s mayor.

D.Munkh-Erdene noted that if the DP wins the five open seats in the new Citizen’s
Representative Council elections, the DP will have the authority to hold a new vote to nominate a new mayor for the district.

Mayor S.Batbold said that his decision was legal, and called on the leaders of the DP to stop opposing the appointment of the MPP’s nominee.

Former Prime Minister and DP member R.Amarjargal pointed out that Bayanzurkh District’s Election Commission is under the influence of the MPP. He alleges that the ruling party wants to erase the votes of DP members in the Bayanzurkh District by engaging law enforcement and other state authorities.

He noted that only 19 representatives of the MPP participated in the Bayanzurkh District’s Citizens’ Representative Council meeting for the nomination of E.Bat-Amgalan, and called for MPP leaders to stop their illegal actions.