There was no outright winner in Mongolia’s presidential election on Monday, forcing the country’s first ever second-round run-off between the two leading candidates, the country’s General Election Committee said on Tuesday. The populist former martial arts star Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party won the most votes, but failed to secure the majority required, the committee said. He will face ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) candidate Miyeegombo Enkhbold, who came second, in a run-off on July 9, the committee’s chairman Choinzon Tsodnomtseren confirmed at a briefing on Tuesday morning.
“I never lose, I must win. I always win in the history of my life,” Battulga told Reuters in an interview on Monday night, before the preliminary results were announced.
The election was seen as a referendum on the government’s economic recovery plans and China’s role in Mongolia, a remote, resource-rich land known as the birthplace of Mongol emperor Genghis Khan.