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Mongolia foreign minister calls for electoral reform
Fri, Jul 04, 2008
AFP

ULAN BATOR - MONGOLIA'S foreign minister on Friday called for reform of the nation's electoral system to avoid a repeat of the deadly riots that shook the country's capital this week.

The violence that erupted in Ulan Bator on Tuesday and killed five people was triggered by allegations that Sunday's parliamentary election had been rigged.

'The first thing they (parliament and government) should look into is the election procedures, the accountancy and transparency of the system, to avoid anything like this happening again,' Mr Sanjaasuren Oyun said.

The formerly communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party won a majority of seats in the 76-seat parliament, handing defeat to its main rival the Democratic Party, which said the vote was 'stolen'.

Mr Oyun, a member of the smaller Civil Will Party, said there were irregularities and fraud in the election that should be investigated.

'If things with each election have been getting worse, one should think they have to make the election process more transparent,' she said.

She said proportional representation, in which seats are allocated proportionally according to each political party's share of the popular vote, would improve the chances of success for smaller parties like hers.

A draft proposal was introduced towards the end of last year to change to proportional representation, but the proposal was rejected.

Police on Tuesday fired tear gas and rubber bullets to contain the roughly 8,000 protesters.

The headquarters of the MPRP were gutted in a fire, a police station was attacked and part of the Cultural Palace burnt.

A four-day state of emergency was called in the wake of the violence. -- AFP

 

 
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