clearn.png
Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 12:38AM

Mongolians voting for president amid biggest virus outbreak

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — Mongolians began voting Wednesday for a new president amid COVID-19 restrictions and efforts to revive the economy of the vast landlocked nation of just 3 million people.

The winner will become Mongolia’s sixth president since its peaceful transition from communism to democracy in 1992. Incumbent Battulga Khaltmaa of the Democratic Party is barred by the constitution from seeking a second six-year term.

Among the candidates, former Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh of the Mongolian People’s Party, which holds a strong majority in parliament, has prompted concerns about a possible strengthening of the military’s involvement in public affairs due to his background with the armed forces.

The MPP also controls the Cabinet, and Khurelsukh's biggest rival, Sodnomzunduin Erdene of the much-weakened Democratic Party, has said that a victory by Khurelsukh would threaten Mongolia with dictatorship.

Former tech CEO Dangaasurengiin Enkhbat of the smaller National Labor Party is running as a third-party candidate. Enkhbat tested positive for COVID-19 three days before the vote and is currently hospitalized.

The presidency is a largely ceremonial position, although it does include powers over the military and the right to veto legislation in some cases. Power is mainly vested in the parliament, the Cabinet and the office of the prime minister.

A total of 2,151,329 voters are registered, according to the General Election Commission. Polls close at 10 p.m. and it's not clear when a winner will be announced.

Voters are required to observe social distancing, and restrictions on public gatherings have severely curtailed campaign events, prompting candidates to shift much of their outreach to voters online. All in-person campaigning has been suspended since Sunday after new local infections hit a record last week of more than 1,000 per day.

Mongolia’s already ailing economy has been thrown into crisis due to the pandemic, with 69,022 cases and 324 deaths reported. That has forced the temporary closure of markets and other enterprises in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, to which many in the traditionally herding population have moved in recent years.

Corruption and pandemic-related disruptions in demand for Mongolia's chief exports such as coal and copper are also dragging on the economy.

“I really hope that the new president I chose today will put our economy back on its feet. Due to the pandemic, the Mongolian economy is really struggling, almost falling on its knees," voter Undarmaa Baasanjav said.

Another voter, Enkhbold Munkhjargal, said unemployment was the country's most urgent problem.

“I really hope that the new president I chose today will improve Mongolia's reputation abroad and bring in more foreign investment,“ Munkhjargal said.

Mongolia has tried to maintain its political and economic independence from both Soviet-era patron Moscow — which supplies virtually all of its energy needs — and rising regional power China, which buys more than 90% of Mongolia's mining exports.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Mongolians voting for president amid biggest virus outbreak
Mongolians are voting for a new president amid COVID-19 restrictions and efforts to revive the economy of the vast landlocked nation of just 3 million people
4:29AM ( 22 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Cole vs Donaldson gets sticky, Texas cuts Davis
New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has found himself in a sticky situation
4:10AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Vatican's financial crimes prosecution hurt by inexperience
European evaluators are warning that the Vatican’s efforts to investigate and prosecute financial crimes are suffering from understaffing and inexperience
4:04AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
McAuliffe win sets up Virginia clash with outsider Youngkin
Democrat Terry McAuliffe has handily won his party’s nomination in his quest for a return to the governor's mansion in Virginia
1:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
French leader Macron slapped in face on visit to small town
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced “violence” and “stupidity” after he was slapped in the face Tuesday by a man during a visit to a small town in southeastern France
3:17PM ( 13 hours ago )
Early states' GOP opposes Nevada as 1st presidential primary
Republicans in the four early presidential nominating states are jointly opposing a Democratic push in Nevada to make the Western state the first to hold a primary
12:38PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Elections
Daughter of imprisoned ex-president leads Peru's election
The daughter of an imprisoned former president is maintaining a razor thin advantage over her opponent in the race for Peru’s presidency
12:25PM ( 1 day ago )
Mexico votes on López Obrador's 'transformation' at mid-term
Mexicans are awaiting results after voting for the entire lower house of Congress, almost half the country's governors and most mayors
10:30PM ( 2 days ago )
2 polarizing populists vie in Peru's presidential runoff
Peruvian voters faced a choice between two polarizing populist candidates during Sunday's presidential runoff
8:38PM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: S. Korea, Singapore discuss July travel bubble
South Korea is talking with Singapore about opening its first “travel bubble” in July, which would allow vaccinated travelers on direct flights to bypass quarantine
1:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trudeau denounces truck attack that targeted Muslim family
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denounced an attack involving a driver accused of plowing a pickup truck into an immigrant family of five, killing four of them
1:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
On 1st overseas trip, Biden to assure allies and meet Putin
President Joe Biden departs Wednesday for the United Kingdom
12:39AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Biden ends GOP infrastructure talks, but new group emerges
President Joe Biden has ended talks with a group of Republican senators on a big infrastructure package and has started to reach out to senators in a new bipartisan effort
12:33AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Melbourne's 4th pandemic lockdown to end Friday
Australia’s second-largest city will emerge from its fourth pandemic lockdown Friday
11:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Guangzhou bars entertainment sites amid outbreak
The southern China metropolis of Guangzhou has ordered the closure of cinemas, theaters, nightclubs and other indoor entertainment venues as authorities seek to contain the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak
10:19PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Arkansas eases quarantine for exposed students
Arkansas will no longer require students exposed to the coronavirus to quarantine so long as they are fully vaccinated against the virus
6:32PM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: US unlikely to meet July 4 vaccination goal
For months, President Joe Biden has laid out goal after goal for taming the coronavirus pandemic and then exceeded his own benchmarks
5:12PM ( 11 hours ago )
Stocks end mostly higher; Wendy's becomes latest meme stock
Major indexes closed mostly higher on Wall Street, thanks largely to gains in a handful of Big Tech companies
5:11PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Pipeline CEO: Ransom payment 'hardest decision' of career
The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month says authorizing a multi-million-dollar payment to hackers was the right thing to do to bring an end to fuel shortages affecting much of the eastern United States
3:02PM ( 13 hours ago )
Study: Racial diversity stagnated on corporate boards
Many top U.S. companies have rushed to appoint Black members to their boards of directors in the wake of the racial justice protests that swept the country last year
2:44PM ( 14 hours ago )
Pipeline CEO: Ransom payment among my 'toughest decisions'
The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month told senators on Tuesday that authorizing a multi-million-dollar payment to hackers was the right thing to do to bring an end to fuel shortages affecting much of the eastern United States
11:46AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
LEADING OFF: Cole vs Donaldson gets sticky, Texas cuts Davis
New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has found himself in a sticky situation
4:10AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Vatican's financial crimes prosecution hurt by inexperience
European evaluators are warning that the Vatican’s efforts to investigate and prosecute financial crimes are suffering from understaffing and inexperience
4:04AM ( 48 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pakistan administers 10M doses as cases decline
Pakistan has administered 10 million vaccine doses as COVID-19 cases and deaths steadily decline in the country
3:53AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Gucci digitally outfits Gen-Z in metaverse foray with Roblox
Anyone whose virtual alter ego is wandering around the Roblox online game platform these days might run into other avatars sporting Gucci handbags, sunglasses or hats
3:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
Vasilevskiy yields little as Lightning advance in playoffs
Andrei Vasilevskiy closed another postseason series by turning away every shot
2:33AM ( 2 hours ago )