ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — A populist business tycoon and former judo star is poised to take down the Mongolian ruling party’s candidate in a runoff election for president.
Preliminary results early Saturday after most of the polling stations were counted showed Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party was leading with 50.6 percent of the vote.
The Mongolian People’s Party’s Miyegombo Enkhbold secured 41.2 percent.
While the nation of 3 million had been an oasis of democratic stability since the end of communist rule nearly three decades ago, its politics have grown increasingly fractious amid an economic crisis and accusations of corruption among the ruling class.
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Battulga campaigned on a “Mongolia First” policy, borrowing the language of President Donald Trump. He promised to be “a patriotic president” seeking “equal cooperation” with neighbors like China.