By GANBAT NAMJILSANGARAV
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) â¿¿ Mongolia's president has won a second four-year term, securing a mandate for his efforts to crack down on corruption and further integrate the landlocked north Asian nation into international society.
The result is seen as an affirmation of Elbegdorj Tsakhia's drive against graft in the nation of 3 million people, whose fortunes are being transformed by a boom in mining for coal, copper, gold, and other resources.
"We will join the president in his struggle to uproot corruption. We will work together to keep governance stable. We will utilize our remaining time in government to fully eradicate corruption and carry out tangible development," Prime Minister Altankhuyag Norov, who is also chairman of Elbegdorj's ruling Democratic Party, told cheering supporters in the capital Ulan Bator.
With all precincts reporting, Elbegdorj won 50.23 percent of the vote in Wednesday's election, with Baterdene Badmaanyambuu of the main opposition Mongolian People's Party receiving 41.97 percent, the election commission said Thursday.
Udval Natsag, Mongolia's health minister and first female presidential candidate, took 6.5 percent, it said.
Elbegdorj, who has a degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, was heavily backed by the urban middle class in the capital, which is home to about half of Mongolia's population. He was elected president in 2009 after serving two terms as prime minister.
Elbegdorj thanked his supporters on his Facebook page, adding that the other two candidates had offered their congratulations.
Supporter Haliunaa Boldbaatar, who gathered with other backers to celebrate at a plaza in central Ulan Bator, said people voted for Elbegdorj "so that he can finish what he started and complete the fight against corruption.
"I'm very happy that he won. It's a great day," said Haliunaa, who runs a translation bureau.
Odmaa Lkhagvasuren, an accountant who said she voted for Baterdene, cited the president's slim majority in the voting as a sign he needed to reflect on his policies.