From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Mon Oct 2 15:28:14 2000
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 14:44:09 -0400
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Jim Jaszewski <grok@SPRINT.CA>
Subject: Mongolian Stalinists Sweep Elections

Former communists sweep Mongolia local elections

Reuters, 2 October 2000

ULAN BATOR, Oct 2 (Reuters)—Mongolia’s former communist rulers won a landslide victory in local elections, two months after they swept back to power in parliamentary polls, election officials said on Monday.

Preliminary results of Sunday’s vote showed the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), which ruled for seven decades under Soviet patronage, won 552 of the 695 seats up for grabs in the provincial and Ulan Bator governments, the officials said.

Prime Minister Nambariin Enkhbayar, leader of the MPRP, hailed the victory as a ringing endorsement of his new government’s policies.

These elections were a test...and the voters confirmed their support to the MPRP, he told a news conference.

People supported the MPRP policies and this is a step forward which makes it possible for the MPRP government to carry out its new programme.

The government has promised to improve social welfare, develop rural areas, and protect domestic industry with 10 percent import taxes.

However, many failed to vote due to election fatigue after the July poll and some confusion over new election procedures, said Enkhbayar.

About 61 percent of a total of 1.1 million registered voters came to the polls, down from more than 80 percent in July.

In some areas, mainly Ulan Bator, polls may have to be repeated because voter turnout did not meet the minimum limit of 50 percent, election officials said.

The Democratic Forces coalition won 87 local government seats, while independent candidates and small parties got 31 seats.

The MPRP ruled Mongolia for 75 years until it was booted out of power by the Democratic Union Coalition in a 1996 election. But the former Communists won a resounding 72 of 76 seats in the Great Hural, or parliament, last July.