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Mongolia's new president promises an economic shake-up

Battulga Khaltmaa looks to lessen the country's trade dependence on China

Battulga Khaltmaa declares victory in Mongolia's presidential race at a press conference in Ulaanbaatar in early hours of Saturday. (Photo by Shunsuke Tabeta)

ULAANBAATAR New Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa has promised an economic overhaul that could see the former communist state move away from neighboring China and closer to other world powers.

Battulga, a member of the leading opposition Democratic Party, took office on July 10, the day after Mongolia's election commission certified the results of the July 7 runoff. Securing 50.6% of the vote, the 54-year-old populist and former martial arts star soundly defeated Miyegombo Enkhbold, the 52-year-old chief of the ruling Mongolian People's Party, who garnered 41.2% of the vote. Some 60.9% of Mongolia's 1.99 million eligible voters turned out.

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