06/25/2020, 11.02
MONGOLIA
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Ulaan Baatar, victory of the party already in power

The Mongolian People's Party wins 62 out of 76 seats. The opposition, the Democratic Party, takes 11 seats. The government’s success in containing the pandemic was decisive. In Mongolia there were 215 positive cases and no deaths. The economy is slow and poverty affects 30% of the population. Juggling China and Russia.

Ulaan Baatar (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Mongolia’s ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP), remains firm in the government of the country after the elections held yesterday. The results released last night confirm 62 seats out of 76 in the Grande Khural, the Mongolian parliament, for the PPM.

The MPP victory makes clear that the current prime minister, Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, will also lead the next government, the 17th since Mongolia, separated from the Soviet Union, putting an end to communist rule. It should be pointed out that the MPP is a descendant of the Communist Party which dominated the country from 1921 to 1990.

The other party in the running, the Democratic Party, has strengthened slightly, going from 9 seats to 11 seats.

Yesterday's elections had a turnout of 73% of the population. Due to severe storms, some seats remained closed. For the rest, the vote unfolded amid strict security measures due to the pandemic, with long queues in front of the polling stations, respecting the distance of two meters between one voter and another. On entering the polling station, body temperatures were measured and the disinfectant hand gel was available.

Analysts say unemployment and social differences between rich and poor topped voters’ concerns. But the coronavirus pandemic and the government's success in containing it rewarded the ruling party. In Mongolia there were only 215 positive cases and no deaths.

Beyond Covid-19, the country's problems remain: a slow economy, corruption, minimum public services, poverty. At least 30% of the 3.2 million inhabitants are below the poverty line.

Mongolia is rich in mineral resources, but it is difficult to attract foreign investments. This is partly due to the fall in commodity prices and partly to the government's attempts to influence foreign firms beyond measure.

Another problem in the country is having to juggle China and Russia, its powerful neighbors. Mongolia buys 95% of the oil and energy needed by the country from Russia. China is the export market for more than 90% of its mining production.

It is highly likely that the coronavirus crisis will make Mongolia's economic recovery even more difficult.

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