With presidential elections in Mongolia to be held on 9th June 2021, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the three presidential candidates, Enkhbat Dangaasuren (Right Person Electorate Coalition), Erdene Sodnomzundui (Democratic Party), and Khurelsukh Ukhnaa (Mongolian People's Party) to commit to supporting future reforms strengthening press freedom and editorial independence, as the best way to improve the transparency of public affairs and combat the country’s endemic corruption.
“When Mongolian journalists can work independently from political or commercial pressure, including from their own boardroom, they will be able to more easily bring corruption cases to the attention of the public which will benefit the country’s democratic institutions,” says Cédric Alviani, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau head.
Although Mongolia broadly respects the principles of press freedom and media pluralism, its media environment is plagued by conflicts of interest that hinder editorial independence. On 26th April 2017, a few weeks before the previous presidential election, Mongolian television stations replaced their normal programming with blank screens in protest against plans to increase the penalties for defamation, which they feared would force journalists into self-censorship.
Mongolia ranked 68th out of 180 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.