Photo Essays | Politics

Mongolia Votes

The Diplomat‘s Peter Bittner provides a first-hand look at election day in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.

Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Supporters of Tuvshin Banzragch, an incumbent city council member from the Democratic Party, wave flags at a rally at the upscale Viva City apartment.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Campaigners for the Independence and Unity Party march through the streets of Viva City, while two children look on.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Voters, among the first of the day, enter a polling station at Ulaanbaatar’s Natsdorj City Library; an American flag marks the neighboring American Cultural and Information Center.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Aaruul, a traditional snack of dried curds, is offered to an election observer by a staff member at Natsdorj. Aaruul was offered to all voters upon entrance.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Voters complete the computerized check-in process at Natsdorj before voting.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

A Mongolian man, wearing Soviet-era medals, fills out his ballot at a booth at a primary school in Bayanzurkh district in Ulaanbaatar.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

A man in Western dress watches as a woman wearing a traditional Mongolian “deel” approaches the automated counting machine to submit her ballot.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

An elderly woman inserts her ballot into a counting machine at Ulaanbaatar’s public library.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

Voters chat after submitting their ballots at a polling station in Chingeltei district, Ulaanbaatar, as a stray puppy explores the plaza.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

A woman, Myda, wearing a customary deel, proudly poses for the camera after casting her ballot in Chingeltei district.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

The weather clears up on election day in Ulaanbaatar’s “ger” — or yurt — districts, revealing a stunning view of the downtown skyline.

Credit: Peter Bittner
Mongolia Votes

The headquarters of the victorious Mongolian People’s Party, which won a landslide victory, is subdued the day after the vote due a ban on public gatherings until July 17 by Ulaanbaatar’s mayor.

Credit: Peter Bittner

On June 29, Mongolians headed to the polls for parliamentary elections. Nearly 500 candidates were in the running for 76 seats in the State Great Khural. When the counting was over, the opposition Mongolian People’s Party had claimed a landslide victory, securing a projected 65 seats. The ruling Democratic Party, meanwhile, will have only nine seats when the new parliament takes office.

Below, The Diplomat’s Peter Bittner provides a first-hand look at the campaigning and voting in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.