Landmark Ruling of the Constitutional Court of Mongolia: Voters will directly elect their election candidates
The Parliament of Mongolia (the “State Great Khural”) passed the Law of Mongolian on Election (the “Election Law”) on 25 December 2015. However, upon the Election Law became in force and effect on same day as it was adopted, it caused some public debates in the society. Particularly, Article 7.1.1 of the Election Law stipulates that “election may be conducted in proportional voting system”. Moreover, Article 120.3 stipulates that “…, voters shall elect no more than 28 candidates through proportional basis”.
However, Article 21.2 of Constitutional Law of Mongolia (the “Constitution of Mongolia”) sets out that “the members of the State Great Khural shall be elected by citizens of Mongolia, who are entitled to vote, on the basis of universal, free and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a term of four years”. Therefore, Article 21.3 sets forth that “Citizens of Mongolia who have reached the age of 25 years and are eligible for elections shall be elected to the State Great Khural”. These articles are understood that Citizens of Mongolia who are eligible to vote will elect their candidates directly.
On 22 April, 2016, medium bench session of the Constitutional court of Mongolia (the “Constitutional court”) reviewed whether if Article 7.1.1 /proportional/ and Article 120.3 /no more than 48 member of State Great Khural shall be elected via majority system, no more than 28 members of State Great Khural shall be elected via proportional basis/ have violated Article 3.1, 21.2, 21.3 and 23.1 of Constitution of Mongolia. Subsequently, upon hearing, the Constitutional court issued the Conclusion №05 on 22 April 2016 (the “Conclusion No.5”) under which it has been ruled that “Article 7.1.1 and 120.3 of Election Law violated the relevant sections of Article 21.2 and 21.3 of Constitution of Mongolia, and it found that these articles have not violated the Article 3.1 and 23.1 of Constitution of Mongolia”. For further clarification, the basis of Conclusion No.5 is that the Constitution of Mongolia does not authorize a proportional election system, instead the Constitution of Mongolia ensures the electors to vote for individual candidates directly but not for a political party.
In this regard, the Constitutional Court ruled that Article 7.1.1 /proportional/, 120.3 /no more than 28 members of State Great Khural shall be elected via proportional basis/ of Election Law, which have violated the Constitution of Mongolia, must be suspended from the date of Conclusion, 22 April 2016, and it awarded the Conclusion No.5.