Mongolia votes for new president amid COVID outbreak

The winner will become Mongolia’s sixth president since its peaceful transition from communism to democracy in 1992.

Voters are choosing a replacement for current president Battulga Khaltmaa of the Democratic Party, who is barred by the constitution from seeking a second six-year term.

Former Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh of the Mongolian People’s Party, which holds a strong majority in parliament, is seen as the frontrunner. But his candidacy has prompted concerns about a possible strengthening of the military’s involvement in public affairs due to his background with the armed forces.The MPP also controls the cabinet, and Khurelsukh’s biggest rival, Sodnomzunduin Erdene of the much-weakened Democratic Party, has said that a victory by Khurelsukh would threaten Mongolia with dictatorship.

The MPP also controls the cabinet, and Khurelsukh’s biggest rival, Sodnomzunduin Erdene of the much-weakened Democratic Party, has said that a victory by Khurelsukh would threaten Mongolia with dictatorship.Tamir Ider, a 33-year-old carpenter, told AFP he had returned a blank ballot because he did not think any candidate had good policies for the country, and he wanted Battulga to serve another term.

“Moreover, we shouldn’t hold an election when we have a high number of COVID cases,” he added.

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