Sunday, July 1, 2012
Mongolian ruling party wants new elections after technical problems with automated voting machines
In the parliamentary elections last Thursday a new automated voting system was used. The election before this where there was manual counting was marred by corruption allegations. Riots ensued in which several were killed.
However, the automated system has sufferred from technical problems. Results were supposed to be released within hours of the polls closing but still had not been released.
The governing Mongolian People's Party and another 8 smaller parties signed a petition claiming the new system violated the Mongolian constitution. The MPP secretary said:"We are demanding the traditional system of counting votes by hand in every election constituency across the whole country to end this confusion that the population has about the voting machines and automated systems," The main opposition group the Democratic Party refused to sign the petition. It feels that it will eventually win.
The chair of the Election Commission said:"There has been no mistake with the voting machines... there was no widespread problems with irregular voting," "The parties have no evidence about mistakes with the voting system and they have a right to have observers at polling stations."
The Democratic Party eventually joined a fragile coalition with the leading MPP after the last election. Perhaps the problem with the new election is not so much the voting machines as that the ruling party does not like the results.
Mongolia is a country that grew last year at a rate of 17..3 per cent. Many foreign companies are moving to develop the rich resources of the country. Mongolia's copper, coal, and gold reserves among others are estimated to be worth more than a trillion dollars. For more see this article.