Former Mongolian Prime Minister Uhna Khujlesuk is elected President | Election News

With most of the votes, Khurelsukh has an insurmountable lead over Sodnomzundui Erdene of the opposition Democratic Party.

Former Mongolian Prime Minister Uhna Khurrasuh became the country’s sixth elected president, further consolidating the power of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP).

Hulsuh, who was forced to resign as prime minister after protests earlier this year, led the opposition Democratic Party’s Sodnomzundui Erdene by an insurmountable advantage on Wednesday. Most of the votes were won in the national election.

He will succeed the current president, Khaltmaa Battulga, who was denied the opportunity to seek re-election following a controversial amendment to the Mongolian constitution, which limits the president’s term to one term.

The landlocked country between China and Russia has about 2 million eligible voters, and political instability has always been a long-term problem in young democracies.

After decades of Communist rule, the country passed its first constitution in 1992.

Khurelsukh’s victory came after a low-key campaign under COVID-19 restrictions. After the National Labor Party’s outsider candidate Dangaasuren Enkhbat tested positive for the coronavirus, most outdoor activities were cancelled on Saturday.

During the Ulaanbaatar presidential election in Mongolia, a man wearing a mask casts a ballot at a polling station [B Rentsendorj/Reuters]

Earlier Wednesday, Mongolians wore surgical masks, traditional clothes, suits and sportswear, lined up to vote under the blue sky, standing in a queue in the distance, marked with lines on the ground.

They were led into the polling station by staff in protective clothing, and then cast their ballots in front of the Mongolian flag.

Mongolia’s mixed political system gives its elected parliament the power to appoint the government and decide policies, but the president has the power to veto legislation and hire and fire judges.

Since the presidency is usually controlled by opposition parties, the division of power has caused a political deadlock, which some people believe has hindered the development of Mongolia.

The election of Hulsuh is expected to give the MPP more control over the levers of power, although he must give up his party affiliation immediately after taking office.

The Democratic Party campaigned under the slogan of “Mongolia without dictatorship”, and Erden warned that the country was moving towards a one-party state.

During the presidential election in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a worker in protective clothing measures the temperature of a man at a polling station [B Rentsendorj/Reuters]

It is not clear what the integration of MPP’s power means for Mongolia’s largest foreign investment project, the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine operated by Rio Tinto. As construction costs soar, the Ulaanbaatar government has sought to renegotiate.

According to the latest survey by the World Bank, inequality is a major problem for Mongolians, with a poverty rate of 28%.

The country is also one of the countries most severely affected by climate change, which has caused desertification and pollution. Temperatures range from minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer.

Traditionally heavily influenced by nomadic culture, more than two-thirds of the population now live in cities.

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