Mongolia Table of Contents
In Mongolia's organizational pyramid, government beneath the national level was carried out by assemblies of people's deputies operating in the eighteen aymags and the three provinciallevel autonomous cities (hots), sometimes called "republic cities." In the late 1980s, each aymag continued to be divided into about thirty somons; towns and population centers within a somon were apportioned into "districts and districts-in-cities." Each of these administrative divisions had its corresponding governing assembly of people's deputies. Some continuity between the Mongolian People's Republic and the traditional Mongolian political culture was provided in preserving the terms aymag, which was a fifteenth-century word for a tribal unit, and somon, which was the traditional basic-level administrative unit (see Pastoral Nomadism , ch. 2). Aymags were established on the basis of geographic boundaries, ethnic groupings, economic conditions, population density, and convenience of administrative control. Somons were the basic units of administration within aymags, and they were where the greatest interaction between government and the people took place.
Deputies to the local assemblies are elected for three-year terms, according to the Constitution. In June 1987, a total of 15,967 deputies were elected to local assemblies, by the usual 99.98 percent of the vote cast. Regular sessions of aymag and autonomous municipal assemblies convened at least twice a year. Sessions of somon and district assemblies were convoked at least three times a year. Each local assembly elected presidiums to administer the government between sessions of the assemblies. Presidiums were composed of a chairman, a deputy chairman, a secretary, and members who included party functionaries and local luminaries residing in the administrative centers.
Within their respective jurisdictions, the assemblies and their presidiums were responsible for directing "economic and cultural-political construction," for supervising the economic and cooperative organizations, for confirming and implementing the economic plan and local budgets, for ensuring the observance of laws, and for making certain that all citizens were fully involved in the work of the state. Superior assemblies of people's deputies were empowered to "change or repeal" decisions of lower assemblies and their presidiums.
Procurators and courts also functioned at the local levels. Local procurators were appointed by the state procurator for three-year terms, and they were subordinate "only to the superior procurator" in the system. Courts were elected by deputies of the corresponding assemblies of people's deputies, also for threeyear terms; precinct-level courts were formed by direct elections and by secret ballot for three-year terms.
Data as of June 1989