Mongolians headed to the polls on Wednesday for a presidential election centred on demands for the new leader of the resource-rich country to do a better job distributing among citizens the increasing wealth international mining companies are injecting in the economy.
Polls close at 10:00 pm (1400 GMT), and while results might be disclosed today, analysts believe an official announcement won’t come out until the end of the week or later.
Mongolia’s economy grew by 17.5% in 2011 and 12.3% last year, mainly thanks to the country's mining boom and, particularly, to the initial phases of Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill’s Oyu Tolgoi project in the Gobi Desert.
However, the firms have had a tough time trying to start shipping copper from the mine, being forced to delay it twice in less than two weeks.
Mongolia held its first national elections in 1992, two years after its Communist leadership fell from power in a peaceful transition.
If no candidate secures 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held July 10.