Written by Staff Writer
28 Jun, 2016 | 3:28 pm
In a stretch of open grassland surrounded by yurts, several thousand Mongolians headbang to the likes of Purgatory Destroyers and The Blacks at the country’s biggest music festival which took place over the weekend.
But many had more than just partying on their minds. The country is set to hold legislative elections on Wednesday (June 29) that are expected to see turnouts at all time lows, amidst widespread perceptions that the older generation has hung onto power to further their own interests while the rest of the country scrapes by.
More than half of Mongolia’s three million population are under 30 years old, and grew up during a time of rapid change that saw the Soviet system replaced by Hollywood, hip hop and heavy metal. Some within the metal scene like Unenkhuu have decided not to wait for a political establishment to catch up, and are taking matters into their own hands.
Sporting a beard and tattoos, the 36-year-old says he has taken time off from organizing heavy metal concerts and playing in a band to pursue elected office.
He reckons his chance of winning are 50-50, but the challenge is steep following a rules change just weeks before the election which effectively turned the contest into a two-horse race between the two largest parties – Democratic Party and the opposition Mongolian People’s Party.
Unenkhuu says the ‘power of metal’ will help him avoid the pitfalls that have befallen other well-meaning candidates who find themselves corrupted by the system.
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