Mongolia election: Voters go to the polls to elect new parliament


Police keep watch as Mongolians vote at a polling station in the village of Zurlug on June 28, 2012.

Mongolians traveled to polling stations across the Alaska-sized country today to elect a new parliament that will be charged with improving the distribution of the country’s ballooning mining revenues, the Associated Press reported.

According to Voice of America, the resource-rich country’s mining boom has brought truckloads of foreign investment and made Mongolia the fastest growing economy in the world last year. It grew an unprecedented 17.3 percent in 2011, the World Bank said.

But many of the landlocked country’s 2.8 million-strong population, one third of who live in poverty, complain they haven’t received their fair share of the wealth and accuse those in power of corruption.

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“The children eat badly and are poorly clothed. I think the people at the top are sharing and eating up the wealth," one voter told the Australian Network News.

The two main parties – the ruling Mongolian People’s Party and the opposition Democratic Party – have promised to use the billions of dollars received from copper, gold and coal mining to improve the standard of living of Mongolians, the AP said.

They have offered to do this by increasing pensions, building infrastructure and subsidizing local industries across the vast country, which is located between Russia and China. 

Recent polls suggest the Democratic Party is likely to win the ballot, but will fall short of securing enough seats to form a government, forcing it into a coalition with some of the 11 parties contesting the election, Bloomberg reported.

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