Former PM Ukhnaa Khurelsukh elected president of Mongolia

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ULAANBAATAR, 9 June - Former Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh became the sixth democratically elected president of Mongolia on Wednesday, further consolidating the power of the ruling party for the People's Party.

Khurelsukh, who was forced to resign as prime minister before protests earlier this year, had an insurmountable lead over Sodnomzundui Erdene of the opposition Democratic Party with most of the vote tallied in a national election.

He will replace incumbent Khaltmaa Battulga who was denied an opportunity to seek re-election following controversial changes to Mongolia's constitution that restricted presidents to one term in office.

Khurelsukh's victory follows a low-key campaign marred by COVID 19 restrictions. Most outside events were cancelled on Saturday after the Outsider candidate Dangaasuren Enkhbat of the National Labor Party tested Positive for the coronavirus.

Mongolia's hybrid political system gives its voted parliament the right to veto governments and decide politics, but the President has the power to veto legislation and hire and fire judges.

With the presidency often ruled by the opposition party, the division of power has created political deadlock that some believe has prevented Mongolia's development.

Khurelsukh's election is expected to give the MPP more control over the power levers, though he is obliged to remove his party affiliation as soon as he takes office.

The government swung under the slogan Mongolia without Dictatorship and Erdene warned that the country was moving towards a one party state.

It remains unclear what the MPP's consolidation of power will mean for Mongolia's biggest overseas investment project, Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine, which the government in Ulaanbaatar is trying to renegotiate as construction costs surge. Then what are the points of view, and how do you see it?

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