Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – Mongolians vote for a new president on Monday in a race that faces a horse salesman against a former judo star and an anxious nationalist to tap the country’s mineral wealth with no outlet to the sea.
The three candidates seeking to succeed Tsakhia Elbegdorj, Democratic Party that has served for a maximum of two four-year terms. Although 3 million to the nation was a democratic oasis of stability since the end of the communist regime there almost three decades, politics has increasingly spread in an economic crisis and accusations of corruption among the class leader.
Parliament Speaker and Horse Dealer Miyegombo Enkhbold represents the Mongolian People’s Party, which won a landslide victory in last year’s parliamentary elections.
Judo champion and business magnate Khaltmaa Batulgaa faces the Democratic Party, with the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party Sainkhuu Ganbaatar completing the field.
It is not known whether Ganbaatar will be eligible to run behind a video was published by him accepting a campaign donation from a South Korean citizen.
Between Russia and China, Mongolia is rich in resources it has faced the financial turmoil and the growing momentum of China’s economic and political influence competing with its ties to the democratic West, particularly the United States.
“This election seems orchestrated from the outset, with the nomination of the candidates in a very strange way,” said Sumati Luvsandendev, director of the Mongolian liberal ideas laboratory at the Sant Maral Foundation. “I’ve never seen an election that way.”
Enkhbold, campaigning under the motto “National Unity; Pride of Mongolia” is widely regarded as the representation of stability at a time in Mongolia shows tentative signs of recovery from the economic crisis caused by a dramatic decline in world prices of products.
That was tarnished by allegations of corruption, however. Last month, a soundtrack was released to the public, allegedly a 90-minute conversation between Enkhbold’s 2014 and two party officials who discussed the amount of $ 25 million to redesign government seats.
Batulgaa campaign on a “first Mongolia” policy, borrowing the language of US President Donald Trump. His promises manifested “a patriotic president” seeking “equal cooperation” with neighbors such as China, who has criticized in the past.
His company, “Genco” is one of the largest in Mongolia, with companies such as hotels, media, banks, liquors, horse meat and complex theme of Genghis Khan. He was also Minister of Agriculture from 2012 to 2014 and former deputy and president of the Judo Association of Mongolia.