World Bulletin/News Desk
A left-wing alliance hostile to foreign mining has won more than a fifth of the votes in Mongolia's parliamentary elections, according to a preliminary tally on Saturday, making it a potential coalition partner in the next government.
Led by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, or MPRP, the alliance could hold the balance of power in a new parliament after gaining more than 22 percent of votes cast on Thursday, the country's elections commission said.
Neither of the two front runners - the Mongolian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) - had won enough seats to form an outright majority of 39 seats, the preliminary results showed.
The MPRP's "justice coalition", headed by controversial ex-president Nambar Enkhbayar, campaigned on a "resource nationalist" platform, calling for the renegotiation of a 2009 agreement that granted 66 percent of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposit to Canada's Ivanhoe Mines.
It also wants to keep the coveted Tavan Tolgoi coal project in Mongolian hands.
The MDP won 35.32 percent of the total vote, while the MPP gained 31.31 percent. Both parties ran the country in a "grand coalition" that broke down in January.
Under Mongolia's new electoral system, 48 parliamentary seats are contested at constituency level on a "first past the post" basis, while the remaining 28 seats are allocated to each party proportionately, depending on their total share of the vote.
Although the elections commission did not provide aggregate figures for the number of seats won by each party, Reuters calculations suggest the MDP will be the largest party with 31 seats, eight short of an overall majority. The MPP will control 29 seats while the MPRP-led alliance will gain 11.
Still, analysts said both major parties would be wary of a coalition with Enkhbayar, who faces trial on corruption charges, and another MDP-MPP grand coalition remains a possibility.
Confusion has been sown since polling stations closed on Thursday over allegations of vote rigging and questions about the reliability of a new electronic voting system.
The MDP claimed victory on Friday, saying it had won at least 36 seats and could even be on the verge of gaining absolute control of parliament, known as the Grand Khural.
However, nine other parties - including the MPP and the MPRP - later issued a joint statement demanding a full vote recount.
"People have doubts about the automatic system and counting machines. To clear those doubts, we have to recount all of the votes from the polling stations across the entire country by hand, which is the traditional method," MPP secretary Yangug Sodbaatar told reporters.
On Saturday, the elections commission ruled out a recount.
Three Palestinians from the Qalandiya Refugee Camp injured protesting Israel’s new restrictions at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Edgar Lungu expels ruling party members for insubordination, including one potential challenger for his seat
Book by former surgeon to South African statesman violates doctor-patient confidentiality, says Nelson Mandela's grandson
Israeli officials signalled they may be open to changing the measures at the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, after the installation of metal detectors at entrances following an attack that killed two policemen stoked Palestinian anger.
Israel reportedly arrests senior Hamas leaders during overnight raids in occupied West Bank
Algeria has refused to classify Hamas or Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations
Hundreds gathered the protest held in front of Israeli Embassy in London
Turkish, Swedish men killed in earthquake on Greek island of Kos
Israeli TV claims metal detectors at Al-Aqsa gates to be replaced with handheld ones
EU asks Israel and Jordan to take an attempt in the Al-Aqsa Mosque to uphold the status quo
Fifty-seven people injured in clashes, 12 taken to hospital, says Palestinian Red Crescent
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the foreign minister of Oman, which has remained neutral in the dispute, Tillerson noted "positive movement" in talks since he visited the region ten days ago.
Catalonia's pro-independence regional government plans to hold a secession vote in the wealthy northeastern region on October 1, in defiance of Spain's central government in Madrid which has repeatedly said such a vote would violate the constitution.
The 6.7-magnitude tremor also left hundreds more injured in the Turkish resort of Bodrum, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) across the sea from Kos.