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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, August 17, 2018

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Mongolia’s opposition party comes to power in landslide election

MPP won the elections after winning 65 of the 76 seats

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ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia - Mongolia’s main opposition party Mongolian People's Party (MPP) came back to power in the landslide parliamentary elections on Thursday.> Big News Network

The campaigning had been influenced by slow economic growth.

According to reports, the MPP won the elections after winning 65 of the 76 seats in the Great Hural, said General Election Commission chief Choinzon Sodnomtseren.

The ruling party conceded defeat after it won just 9 of the seats, down from 38. Voter’s turnout was more than 72 percent.

The election was more like a referendum after the country’s economic growth fell from more than 17 percent in 2011 to less than 2.3 percent last year.

Citizens have reportedly blamed the government’s missteps and rising debt for the slump in the economy.

Democratic Party chief Enkhbold Zandaakhuu and Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed also did not win their constituencies.

Pete Morrow, a partner at Ulaanbaatar-based advisory firm NovaTerra said, “While Prime Minister Saikhanbileg did a good job correcting some of the mistakes of his party since 2012, the overall economic results have been dismal and the voters wanted a change. The new MPP government has every chance to put in place a coherent, positive program to fix Mongolia’s problems and embrace the role of foreign investment as part of that. Certainly, they bring to the task a number of familiar faces that we know and trust."

With the elections now over, MPP Chairman Enkhbold Miyegombo will have to try and curb spending as the country has a billion dollars in debt due next year and early on 2018.

Nick Cousyn, chief operating officer of BDSec JSC, Mongolia’s largest brokerage firm, said, “There was a great deal of investor comfort with Democratic Party Prime Minister Saikhanbileg, so the challenge for the MPP is to pick a prime minister that inspires a similar level of confidence. The election result was a clear message from voters that they want change and economic growth."

Reuters reported that Mongolian bonds jumped after the results. The $500 million sovereign bonds due 2021 surged 3.5 points to 105.5/106.25 cents on the dollar, and the $500 million bonds from Trade Development Bank due 2020 rose 2.5 points to 98/99.

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