Mongolian opposition party poised for power

Mongolia's opposition Democratic Party won the most seats in last week's parliamentary elections, but not enough to secure a majority, according to official results released on Thursday.

Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj called on all parties involved to quickly agree on who would form a ruling coalition, after a week of tensions in which a number of parties said a new automated voting system had failed.

"The election was lawful and the Great Hural should form a new government immediately and do the job they have promised to the people," Elbegdorj said in a statement.

The Democratic Party came out on top in the election, winning 31 parliamentary seats so far, while the ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP) has taken 25 seats, according to results posted on the president's website.

The Justice Coalition won 11 seats while five others went to independents and minor parties.

Two closely contested seats were still up for grabs and would require a run-off vote.

The fates of two further seats were unclear as MPP candidates who won the most votes were facing investigations for alleged but unspecified irregularities.

In the Great Hural, Mongolia's 76-member parliament, 39 seats are needed to form a government.

The vote was largely seen as a referendum on how to better share the nation's spectacular but divisive mining boom, with the major parties all promising voters a bigger slice of the pie.

There was no immediate indication on who the Democratic Party would seek to form a coalition with.

The party was a junior partner in a coalition with the MPP from 2008 until January this year, when it broke away to contest the elections.

Spokespeople for the MPP, which had led calls for a new election following alleged problems with the automated polling system, were not immediately available to comment on Elbegdorj's declaration that the vote was lawful.


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