Casting a vote is no easy steppe

It took Mongolian nomad Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar seven days to get to his polling station as the sprawling, sparsely populated country he lives in went to the polls on Wednesday.

Given that he was accompanied by more than 2,000 sheep, goats and horses, it was far from easy.

And there were many like him, including this man (above) in Zuunmod district, south of Ulan Bator, who travelled far and wide to cast their votes, and convey their unhappiness over the ruling Democrats' economic management.

The former Soviet bloc state, which saw a peaceful revolution in 1990, is struggling to benefit from its vast natural resources amid disputes over foreign investment and slumping demand from its giant neighbour China.

After a campaign dominated by concern over slow economic growth, the opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP) swept back to power in a landslide victory yesterday.

The Democratic Party won nine seats, down from 37. The MPP won 85 per cent of the vote, with 65 seats in the 76-member Parliament.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Casting a vote is no easy steppe'. Print Edition | Subscribe