The Mongolian People’s Party maintains a strong majority in parliament

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ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) – Preliminary election results show that the Mongolian People’s Party retained a strong parliamentary majority and obtained 62 out of 76 seats as the landlocked US ally wedged between Russia and China tries its democratic traditions amidst economic woes.

The main opposition Democratic Party won 11 seats, while three others were taken by independents and coalitions, the General Election Commission reported Thursday.

Wednesday’s polls were held amid significant success in the country’s fight against the coronavirus, with only 215 cases of COVID-19 recorded. They have all been imported and no one has died.

People who lined up to vote in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, had to keep a distance of 2 meters (6.5 feet) between them. Once inside the polling station, election workers checked their temperatures and distributed hand sanitizer.

Economic slump, corruption and weak public services dominated the concerns of the country’s 3.2 million people, about half of whom live in Ulaanbaatar.

Voter turnout was over 73% of the 2 million eligible voters in the country.

Mongolia has maintained a democracy of nearly 30 years, instituted after a new constitution was passed in 1992 after six decades of communism.

The majority of the MPP has fallen slightly from the 65 seats it won in the 2016 election to Great Khural state. Some scattered rural communities had not yet reported their results, but this was not expected to have a significant impact on the final result.

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