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Five Dead In Mongolia Election Violence

A RIOT in Mongolia’s capital over alleged election fraud has killed five people, dampening hopes for a period of stable government to develop the mining sector and tackle inflation.

 

President Nambariin Enkhbayar declared a four-day state of emergency late on Tuesday after protesters upset over last weekend’s election clashed with police and set fire to the ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) headquarters.

The emergency rule — the first in Mongolia’s history — means protests are banned and security forces can use tear gas and rubber bullets to break up demonstrations.

“At this moment, the situation in the capital city is relatively normal. It is very peaceful compared to yesterday, but the troops need to stay in the street,” the chief of police, Amarbold, said on state television.

Justice Minister Monkh-Orgil said about 220 civilians and 108 servicemen were injured in the clashes. Around 700 protesters have been detained.

The outpouring of violence from a crowd of thousands has left an uneasy calm over the city, where armoured vehicles manned by troops took up positions.

Mongolia’s election committee has yet to announce the final result of Sunday’s vote, but preliminary results give the MPRP, which ruled the country as a Soviet satellite for much of the last century, a clear majority in the 76-seat parliament.

The opposition Democratic Party said it did not accept the projected outcome, but members also disavowed the violence and expressed hopes of a meeting with the MPRP to resolve the situation.

“From the Sea of Japan to the eastern border of Europe, we are the only functioning democracy and we have a duty to save it,” Democratic Party leader Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj told Reuters.

Parliament was to convene an extraordinary session late on Wednesday to formally approve the president’s state of emergency.

The uncertainty threatens to further delay deals that could unlock vast reserves of copper, coal, uranium and other resources beneath the country’s vast steppes and deserts, seen as key to lifting the landlocked Central Asian state out of poverty. — Reuters.

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