The third-place finisher in Mongolia’s presidential vote cried foul and demanded a recount on Tuesday after electoral authorities declared he was narrowly beaten for a spot in next month’s runoff election. The drama capped a campaign marked by corruption scandals plaguing all three candidates that overshadowed voter concerns over unemployment in the debt-laden country wedged between Russia and China. The result of Monday’s vote was put off by several hours until Tuesday morning, angering supporters of Sainkhuu Ganbaatar of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP). “We should recount it, otherwise we lose our democracy,” Ganbaatar told AFP. “They are violating people’s votes.”
Former judoka Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party finished first with 38 percent of the vote, the General Election Committee said, well short of the 51 percent majority needed to win outright.
The country’s electoral authorities said the runoff — Mongolia’s first ever — would be held on July 9th.
Ganbaatar had been in second place in the early vote count but he eventually was overtaken by parliament speaker Mieygombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), who squeaked by with a 0.1 percentage point edge.