Mongolians cast their ballots in the country's general election on 29 June, as President Tsakhia Elbegdorj encouraged citizens to vote. With a population of three million people, the remote country has been a democracy ever since the Mongolian Revolution of 1990 .

Yet for people like Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar, the voting process is a long one. It took Shatarbaatar seven days to reach his nearest polling station, accompanied by more than 2,000 sheep, horses and goats.

Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar casts his vote in Mandalgovi in the Gobi desertJohannes Eisele/ AFP

More than half of Mongolia's population is under 30. They grew up during a time of rapid change following a peaceful political revolution in 1990 that saw the Soviet system replaced by democracy. The slow economy under the ruling of the Democratic Party has disillusioned much of the younger generation, who could potentially play a decisive role in these elections. Yet, with a population so small and with powerful neighbouring countries such as Russia and China, Mongolia has struggled to benefit from its vast natural resources.

"We've had enough of the older guys," Badral Bayasal, a candidate for the Civil Movement Party, told Reuters. "Our generation of millennials are making a change, and it's our time to express our voices."

Mongolia election
Villagers leave a polling station after voting for the parliamentary elections on the outskirt of UlaanbaatarJason Lee/ Reuters
Mongolia election
A woman votes for the parliamentary elections at a polling station on the outskirt of UlaanbaatarJason Lee/ Reuters

According to Reuters, polls suggest that voters are likely to give more seats to the main opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which ruled from 2008 to 2012. Since then, Mongolia has borrowed billions of dollars in sovereign debt. The MPP has criticised the Democrats' economic management and such mass borrowing, promising to reassess spending and tighten fiscal management.

The Democrats defended their use of bond proceeds, explaining that is being used to help start new industries, while aiming to replace imports with domestic products. They have also pitched a plan for a wealth fund to make the economy resilient and decentralise the government.

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Herder Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar is greeted by an elderly woman in front of a polling station in Mandalgovi in the Gobi desertJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Buyantogtokhiin Uugantsetseg, a family member of herder Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar, stands in front of a truck in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar (L) and Zandraagiin Budjar carrying a foal on their bike to stay with its herd overnight in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar herds his horses in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
A boy plays in the suburbs of Mongolia's capital, UlaanbaatarJohannes Eisele/ AFP

Yet stability during the time of the MPP rule has helped lure investors. However, despite having exports such as copper, livestock, coal and crude oil, it has since struggled to adapt to China's reduced appetite, which has hit commodities prices.

"I'm thinking let's support the Mongolian People's party, when we vote for that party our lives, our future, our destiny will be much better," Batsaikhan, a resident of the grasslands around the country's capital, Ulaanbaatar, said in comments during a television broadcast.

Election results are expected from 30 June.

Mongolia election
An elderly woman casts her vote in the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Mandalgovi in the middle of Gobi provinceJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Herder Dambiin Otgontsetseg, who is married toPagvajaviin Shatarbaatar, holding a bowl of tea in her mobile home in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Herder Dambiin Otgontsetseg, who ismarried to Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar, washes her face from a bottle hanging from the family's mobile home in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Herder Shagdarjaviiu Batsargal, who works with Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar, carries an injured sheep in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Herder Zandraagiin Budjav, who works with Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar sits on his motorbike in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar saddles his horse in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest coal mine located in the Southern Gobi desertJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
People leave a polling station after voting for the parliamentary elections in Mandalgovi, Gobi provinceJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Cabins for tourists are seen on the grasslands on the outskirt of UlaanbaatarJason Lee/ Reuters
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar rides a horse, as he prepares to catch one of his horses in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Mongolian flag flies on the top of parliament building in UlaanbaatarJason Lee/ Reuters
Mongolia election
A man reads his ballot paper with a magnifier before he fills it for the parliamentary elections at a polling station on the outskirt of UlaanbaatarJason Lee/ Reuters
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar rides his bike while he herds his livestock in the Gobi desert near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP
Mongolia election
Pagvajaviin Shatarbaatar stands in the Gobi desert, near LuusiinJohannes Eisele/ AFP