Opposition Poised to Win Mongolian Election

Posted June 30th, 2012 at 8:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Mongolian election officials say the opposition Democratic Party has captured more votes than the ruling Mongolian People's Party in Thursday's parliamentary election, but not the required majority.

The final results have not been announced due to technical problems with a new automated counting system, introduced to ensure more fairness in the voting process.

The ruling Mongolian People's Party and eight smaller parties have asked for new elections, citing technical problems with the new system.

Several parties have asked for a vote recount amid allegations of vote rigging and concerns about the new voting system.

The election commission chief Namsrijavttulg Luvsanjav Saturday defended the technology, saying that manual recount performed at some polling stations showed largely the same results as the automated system.

“Firstly, the results of the recount are no different to the original results. Secondly, there is a sentence in the law on State Khural elections which states that votes must be counted by automatic machines.''

The opposition Democratic Party is expected to win most seats in the 76-seat parliament, but will have to form a coalition. Official results are due within 14 days of the election.

Mongolia had the world's fastest growing economy last year, thanks to the revenue from its still largely untapped gold, copper and iron resources. But one third of its roughly three million population still lives in poverty.

The two major parties have promised to fight corruption and to use Mongolia's resources to improve the livelihood of its people.

Former president Enkhbayar Nambar was barred from running for office after being arrested in April on charges of misuse of state funds and other abuses of power. He says the charges are politically motivated, and that it is the current President Elbegdorj Tsakhia who is using the mining wealth to enrich himself.