Mongolia will hold a runoff election on Sunday, July 9, after lead candidate, Battulga Khaltmaa of the Democratic Party (DP), fell short of a 50 percent majority after receiving 38 percent of the vote. Battulga is followed by the ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP) candidate Enkhbold Miyegombo, chairman of the Parliament of Mongolia, with 30.3 percent. The nationalist candidate from the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MAXH), Sainkhuu Ganbaatar, is contesting his third place position and elimination from the runoff after receiving 30.19 percent of the votes. MAXH supporters protested the results in front of the General Electoral Committee, claiming that some of the votes were manipulated.
Enkhbold, who was considered to have the highest chance of winning the election, is plagued by rumors of bribery and corruption in land reforms and housing projects during his tenure as mayor of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar from 1999 to 2005. Battulga is also facing corruption allegations.
According to the electoral commission, turnout for the election was at 68.27 percent of the nearly two million registered voters who cast their ballots on Monday.
This will be the country's fifth presidential elections since a multi-party system and the market economy were introduced in 1990.
The Mongolian public is highly dissatisfied with the legal system and is demanding economic stability, employment opportunities, and healthy air quality. Mongolia is currently facing a spiraling debt burden worth USD 23 billion and is subject to a controversial IMF-led bailout program to ease the country's financial pressures. In 2016, the financial deficit reached 20 percent.
Individuals present in Mongolia during the June 2017 presidential elections should avoid all gatherings, especially in Ulaanbaatar.
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