ULAN BATOR , Mongolia, June 30 (UPI) — The Mongolian People’s Party returned to power in a landslide victory in parliamentary elections this week.
The formerly Marxist-Leninist party ruled Mongolia for 70 years during the communist era and afterward, but was forced from power four years ago by the Democratic Party. Preliminary election results announced Thursday indicate the MPP won 65 of 76 seats in the State Grand Khural, Mongolia’s parliament, with the Democratic Party winning nine seats, down from 38.
Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed and party chief Enkhbold Zandaakhuu were among Democratic Party leaders who lost elections in their own districts.
The election was considered a referendum on Mongolia’s economy. Growth fell from 12 percent in 2011 to 2.3 percent in 2015, largely because of less demand from China for raw materials and a softening of prices for copper and coal, Mongolia’s main exports. Voters blamed the Democratic Party for rising debt, which doubled during the party’s leadership.