Mongolia elections: 9 parties demand vote recount

Observers from the various political parties watch as a campaign worker opens ballot boxes containing overseas votes at the close of voting during the Mongolian parliamentary elections in Ulan Bator on June 28, 2012.

Nine political parties in Mongolia, including the ruling Mongolian People’s Party, have signed a petition demanding a vote recount and rejecting as unconstitutional an electronic voting system used for the time in the country’s parliamentary elections on Thursday.

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The automated system was introduced to ensure Mongolia’s elections were free of corruption, but it has been plagued by technical problems and results that were supposed to be announced hours after polling stations closed two days ago are yet to be made public.

According to Al Jazeera, the Mongolian People’s Party and eight smaller parties are calling for a vote recount and for a return to the old way of counting votes by hand.

"We are demanding the traditional system of counting votes by hand in every election constituency across the whole country to end this confusion that the population has about the voting machines and automated systems," Mongolia People’s Party secretary Yangug Sodbaatar said.

But the elections commission has ruled out a recount.

Preliminary results released today show that neither of the two main parties – Mongolian People’s Party and the Mongolia Democratic Party – have won enough seats to form a government and whoever wins could be forced to form a coalition, Reuters reported.

The Mongolia Democratic Party claimed victory on Friday, but the final result could be further delayed after the elections commission today ordered fresh votes in two districts after the candidates failed to reach the required percentage of votes, Bloomberg said.

The new parliament will be tasked with better distributing the wealth from Mongolia's mining boom, which has brought truckloads of foreign investment to the impoverished country but left many of its 2.8 million-strong population, one third of whom live in poverty, wondering where the money has gone. 

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