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Incumbent Wins Mongolia Presidential Election

"This means he did not receive all the public support. He should think about it," Odmaa said.

Along with fighting graft, Elbegdorj has promised to enact further legal reforms, increase public participation in government decision-making and boost Mongolia's participation in global institutions.

The White House released a statement from President Barack Obama congratulating Elbegdorj and praising him in advancing democracy. "I look forward to working with him to further strengthen the friendship and ties between our two countries," he said.

Mongolia's resource boom has created vast new wealth, but also fueled inflation and worsened inequality and corruption among the ruling class. While the terms of mining contracts with foreign multinationals remain a point of contention, Elbegdorj's re-election should offer reassurance to foreign investors that conditions will remain basically stable in the country, said Doljinsuren Densmaa, a sociologist and independent political analyst

"Elbegdorj's re-election ... is good news for foreign companies that have invested in the Mongolian mining sector," Doljinsuren said.

That is reinforced by having the presidency and parliament, known as the Great Hural, under the control of a single party, she said. "It means less shake-up in Mongolian politics and more stability, and political stability is what the investors want."

In contrast to Elbegdorj's progressive, urban supporters, Baterdene represented more conservative, urban voters who are wary of further reforms. The celebrated ex-wrestling champion's party represents the former communists who ran Mongolia as a Soviet satellite until the 1990 revolution led by young pro-democracy activists, including Elbegdorj.

Baterdene has successfully leveraged the respect ordinary Mongolians have for their traditional athletes to win three terms to the Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament.

Udval, a physician who serves as Mongolia's health minister, is a backer of former President Enkhbayar Nambar, now serving time in jail for corruption.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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