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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Mongolia re-vote ordered
By Francis Markus
BBC, Shanghai

Election officials in Mongolia have called for votes to be recast in at least two areas amid fierce controversy over the results of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

They have not yet announced a date, although Mongolia's election law says they must be held within a week of the original poll.

According to preliminary results, the country's opposition Motherland Democratic Coalition won 36 out of 76 seats in parliament, marking a stunning blow to the governing former communists, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP).

Despite Mongolia's vast size and its sparse population, election results in the past have come through remarkably quickly, but not this time.

Three days after Sunday's poll, controversy and confusion are still raging.

It now appears highly likely that a re-vote will take place some time in the next few days in at least two polling stations where election officials have upheld complaints about irregularities.

The bitterly disputed outcome reflects the fact that the opposition Democrats have surpassed their most optimistic predictions.

From having only four seats in the outgoing parliament, initial results are now giving the party 36, the same as the MPRP.

And it says it has enough allies to form a government.

It would be only the second Democrat administration after decades of rule by MPRP.

The MPRP has accused the Democrats of cheating, even though it was able to dominate the media with a lavish campaign.

The MPRP is hoping to overturn enough of the disputed results to gain a majority.

But if neither side can triumph, they will have to find a way of working together in what could be an uneasy coalition.




SEE ALSO:
Mongolia opposition makes gains
28 Jun 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Mongolia
18 Jun 04  |  Country profiles
Daily threat for Mongolia nomads
27 Jul 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent


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