Mongolians are heading to the polls today to participate in the 6th Parliamentary election since the country embraced democracy in 1990. Election day is a national holiday here, which means that businesses are closed in an effort to encourage voter participation. In Ulaanbaatar, voting is easy. There are several stations where citizens can cast their ballots. It’s a bit trickier in the countryside, however, where herders live dozens of miles away from the nearest polling place.

The two major parties, the Mongolian People’s Party and the Democratic Party, are both campaigning on how they will spend Mongolia’s rising income from mining projects on the people and developing Mongolia. New roads, a subway, pensions – these are among the lofty promises, which, it seems not many average citizens take very seriously.

A campaign flyer for a Democratic Party candidate shows the Ulaanbaatar of today and the Ulaanbaatar he promises for tomorrow.

Two young Mongolians wrestle outside a ger erected by the Democratic Party in a small town in the Gobi desert (Photo by Taylor Weidman)

Read more on today’s election and how the new economy is playing a part:

How does a poor country spend billions? Mongolian elections to decide how to spend mining boom (Washington Post)

Mongolia’s new wealth and rising corruption is tearing the nation apart (The Guardian)

Mongolia Votes, as Resources Bring Wealth and Challenges (Moscow Times)

Resource nationalism to irk investors as Mongolia goes to polls (Reuters)

Mongolian elections decide how to spend a windfall (Fox News)

Read more on campaign ads:

An Introduction to Mongolia’s Political Ads

When Music Videos and Campaign Commercials Combine

Campaign Monologues

The Lighter Side

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