Mongolian president set for second term

Preliminary results put Tsahkia Elbegdorj ahead of rivals, but victory to be confirmed after ballots are counted again.

    Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has been re-elected for a second term, the country's election commission has said quoting preliminary results.

    The commission announced on Thursday that Elbegdorj got 50.23 percent of the votes, beating a former wrestling champion, Bat-Erdene Badmaanyambuu of the People's Party, and health minister Udval Natsag, of the People's Revolutionary Party.

    The win preserves the dominance of the Democratic Party, which won the most seats, though not an absolute majority, in last year's parliamentary vote, and heads a coalition government keen to regulate foreign investments.

    Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan, reporting from the capital Ulan Bator, said that many challenges lie ahead including how to share the wealth from the country’s mining boom.

    “As the president’s supporters celebrate, many international businesses will be relieved. In his first four years in office, Elbegdorj encouraged foreign investment, particularly in the mining sector and Mongolian voters want a bigger share of that. The re-elected president now has four years to work out, how to keep the economy on track while balancing the needs of international businesses with those of his people” she reported.

    But the result of Wednesday's election would not be official until the ballot papers were counted again on delivery to Ulan Bator, Mongolia's General Elections Commission chief, Sodnomtseren Choinzon, said.

    Free-market advocate

    Elbegdorj , who wants more controls on foreign mining investments, became president in 2009 after twice serving as premier.

    He is a free-market advocate, but his government has increasingly adopted a more "resource nationalist" approach, with laws to give the country a bigger stake in "strategic assets", such as mines.

    Mongolia ended seven decades of communist rule in 1990 without a shot being fired.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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