Article 7 in the State Great Khural Election Law indicates that “The State Great Khural shall fix and announce elections for the State Great Khural not less than 75 days before the polling day”. Parties, coalitions, candidates, who have announced about their intent to participate in the election and had registered (65 days before polling day, article 19.1), shall have the right to start Pre-election Campaign (article 21.1) and close their campaign 24 hours prior to the elections (article 21.2).
The law defines the election campaign as a period, starting 65 days before the election and ending up 24 hours before the polling day.
Parties, coalitions and independent candidates shall form an election campaign fund and open an account with a bank and inform the General Election Committee of this action and announce it to the public (article 5.5). But this article does not elaborate on the time frame when such an election campaign fund could be set up. After Polling day, during the time of the review of election expenses, parties’, coalitions’ and independent candidates’ transactions to-from accounts of election campaign funds shall cease (article 5.6)
The nominating party shall establish election campaign funds within five days upon the registration of its nominee (42-50 days before the polling day), open a bank account for the funds, and inform the General Election Committee and the public thereof. After the polling day, the bank account transactions of the candidate’s election campaign funds shall cease (article 7.7)
Disclosure rules for party income
There are no disclosure rules, regulations for party income including political contributions, public financing or subsidy, and other sources. There is no disclosure law or rule which requires itemization of cash or in-kind contributions by donor name, address and amount or cash-value and itemization of loans by lender name, address, and amount. There is no requirement for public disclosure before an election takes place.
According to the Articles 10 and 11 of the Law on Political Parties, political parties of Mongolia shall operate on the basis of self-financing principle, and party property and income should consist of membership fee and donations, citizen and organization donations, and profit of entrepreneurs by the party, profit out of party activities.
Disclosure rules for campaign expenditure
According to the Article 5 of State Great Khural Election Law, parties, coalitions and independent candidates shall forward the reports on spending of the election funds to the General Election Committee within one month after the elections are over. The General Election Committee shall examine the reports and shall have published the results in the official gazette within 3 months after the completion of the election.
Restrictions on donations
Donation is the main source of funding of political parties in Mongolia. Donations increase during the pre-election campaigns. For political parties with higher probability of success, donations are higher and they alone allow to pay for all expenses incurred during the election campaign and fund party activities for some time. It became customary for politicians to receive donations, for business sector to make donations for a nominee or a political party.
It is prohibited to receive donations from the following entities: Foreign country’s or foreign organization (foreign party of a joint organization), International organization, State or local self-government authority, Foreign citizen, Stateless person, Citizen of Mongolia who hasn’t attained the age of eighteen years on the day of announcement of the election date, Legal person wholly or partially owned by the State or local government, Legal person that has tax debts, has gone bankrupt, or has overdue bank loan debts as determined by a court decision, Labor union or religious and other non-governmental organizations or Legal person that has been in operation for less than one year since its establishment.
Contribution Limits: The maximum amount of donation for legal entity is ten million, for person is one million Togrogs for one time and donator is allowed to give donation to one organization of the party for no more than two times a year. It is forbidden to seek for personal interest, position and to oppress due to donation.
In relation to an election, “The maximum amount of donations to a party, coalition, or candidate may be up to one million Togrogs from an individual and up to three million Togrogs from a legal person.”
There are no provisions about penalty, if a violation occurs regarding this amendment. There is no restriction on total amount of donations a party may receive in a given year, or restrictions on total income from donations, and no strict limits on the maximum size of donations from a single entity.
The law prohibits certain individuals like foreigners and stateless persons, and institutions such as public organizations, institutions sharing state property (with the property of the state), foreign citizens, foreign enterprises, including foreign partners of joint ventures, from contributing to the election purpose during the process of the election preparation (from the date of announcement to the end of the elections). The laws prohibit in-kind or cash money donations, individuals and organizations may take only monetary contributions for the election purpose and shall transfer them to the account of the election fund of the parties, coalitions and independent candidates (article 5.5). Candidates are not allowed to receive, give and spend election contributions through other channels than the election fund account.
Restrictions on spending
There is a ban on vote buying, using state resources in favor or against a political party or candidate. The civil servants are prohibited from participating in any manner in election campaigning or to involve civil servants other than political appointees as well as underage citizens in election campaigning.
The General Election Commission is able to set the maximum amount of election spending by a district candidate for each district based on its size and location as well as the size of population and the maximum amount of election spending for a party or coalition within February 1 of the election year.
The Election Law does not prohibit paid political advertising on radio and TV. There is a ban on spending of the election campaign fund for non-campaign items, the general prescription allowing for expenses related to propaganda of candidates, organization of meetings, interviews, stationery, postage, communication, transport and official trips of candidates, his/her associates and election officers of parties and coalitions, and other expenses authorized by the General Election Committee.
Direct State assistance to parties: Article 12 of the Political Party Law and Provision 5.10 of the SGK Election Law provides, “Parties represented at the State Great Khural shall be financially supported from the state budget according to the number of seats they hold.
The amount of financing and the procedure thereby shall be determined by the State Great Khural”. This provision allows the political party dominating in the parliament to receive support from the state budget in a favorable way.
Indirect State assistance to parties: The General Election Committee arranges for free broadcast on national TV and radio during the election campaign period only. According to the SGK Election Law (article21.3), the Mongolian State Radio and Television shall treat equally each party, coalition, and independent candidates contesting in the same constituency in terms of free service, duration and opportunities of conducting agitation and propaganda by parties, coalitions and independents.
According to Law on Election of State Great Hural 2011, the schedule of free campaign programme broadcasts by the public radio and television is approved, the General Election Commission shall allocate equal air time to each party and coalition as well as each of the independent candidates running for election in the same district and pass and enforce a decision.
The Law on Election of State Great Hural 2011 states that a party, coalition, or candidate shall have meetings, forums, or rallies with voters within the time frame. The governor of an administrative and territorial unit concerned shall have a duty to provide support to the party, coalition, or candidate in conducting the meeting, forum, or gathering and treat them equally. A state or local self-government body or wholly or partially state- or local government-owned legal person shall allow free use of a cultural, sports or conference facility for the activities.
Restriction on using state resources and media resources
Article 5 of the Law on Parliamentary Elections prohibits the candidates to receive, during the election campaigns, donations from governmental organizations or enterprises with state properties; ¨
Article 7 of the Anti-Corruption Law forbids the use of properties, equipment, financial means and official information of the public organizations by civil servants for non-official purposes; ¨ Provision 15.1.1 of the Public Service Law stipulates that a civil servant shall not participate in the activities of political parties, non-governmental and religious organizations that are not related to his/her official duties; ¨
Articles 6.1, 7.1 and 7.7 of the Law on Advertising provide a definition for “hidden advertisement”, and Article 25 of the same law regulates the issue of public control on advertisements.
Accounting requirements for political parties
A party or coalition candidate should deliver the statement of election expenditure to the party or coalition within 15 days after the polling day and deliver their election expenditure statements to the General Election Commission within one month after the polling day.
The General Election Commission should review and make the public, the expenditure statements and the names of citizens having donated two hundred thousand or more Togrogs as well as legal persons having donated five hundred thousand or more Togrogs within 45 days after the election day.
Soft money or in-kind contributions, which comprise a significant part of donations, are not prescribed to be reported in the laws. Also, there is no mechanism for controlling them.
The Political Party and Election Campaign Financing Assessment Study- Mongolia, Mongolian Foundation for Open Society (Soros Foundation), 2003, http://pdc.ceu.hu/archive/00002275/01/burmaa_assessmentstudy_edited.pdf.
Election Campaign Financing Monitoring Project, Progress Report 2004.04.26-2004.26.01, Mongolian Voters Education Center, http://www.forum.mn/forum_topics/campaign/full_report_english.pdf.
PDF : Financing of Political Parties and Sponsors (Ch.Tamir)
PDF : The Political Party and Election Campaign Financing Assessment Study- Mongolia (Mongolian Foundation for Open Society -Soros Foundation: 2003)
PDF : Election Campaign Financing Monitoring Project, Progress report (Voters Education Center: 2004)