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Mongolian Opposition Demands Cancellation of Parliamentary Elections - 2004-07-02


Hundreds of opposition supporters have rallied in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, demanding the cancellation of new parliamentary elections scheduled for Saturday. The country's two main political groups are at a stalemate over the results of last Sunday's national election.

Witnesses said opposition supporters waved flags and chanted slogans demanding that Mongolia's election commission cancel plans for polls in three districts. New elections are being held because commission officials said the results of last Sunday's vote were too close to call in those districts.

The opposition Motherland Democratic Coalition claimed it won a slight majority of the 76 parliament seats. For years, the communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party dominated the parliament.

Opposition leaders charge the election commission is stacked with supporters of the ruling party. Tsagaah is the Motherland Democratic Coalition campaign manager.

Mr. Tsagaah says his coalition believes it succeeded and he accuses the opposition of wanting to steal its victory.

Both sides accuse each other of committing fraud by transporting voters from one polling station to another during the balloting on June 27. The ruling party has vowed to accept defeat if Saturday's poll results warrant it.

Opposition coalition officials say they will work to stop the new elections.

On Thursday, members of the coalition stormed Mongolia's main, state-run television and went on the air briefly, complaining they had been denied access to the media during the campaign.

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