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Khaltmaa-Battulga-Mongolia-2017Dharamshala — His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the democratically elected President Dr Lobsang Sangay have congratulated Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party for winning Mongolia's Presidential election.

Populist former martial arts star and businessman Battulga has won Mongolia's presidential run-off election, according to voter data from the General Election Commission released on Saturday.

Battulga, 54, had 50.8 percent of the vote as of 12:30 a.m. local time on Saturday compared to 40.6 percent of the vote for MPP candidate Enkhbold Miyegombo, with 92 percent of polling stations reporting. Ballots cast by expatriate Mongolians living in Europe are expected to arrive in the capital Ulaanbaatar Saturday morning, according to the General Election Commission.

In a congratulatory letter to the President-elect of Mongolia, His Holiness expressed his encouragement at the interest and enthusiasm that the people of Mongolia showed towards Buddhism, not on blind faith but as 21st century Buddhists founding their faith on understanding.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate recalled the unique and close relations the Mongolian and the Tibetan peoples shared since the time of the Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso.

His Holiness pointed out that as he mentioned several times during his visits to Mongolia, Buddhism historically shaped the identity, culture and spiritual life of the Mongolian people. With their emphasis on such fundamental human values as compassion and non-violence, the Buddha's teachings have a great potential to guide and benefit humanity without contradicting an individual's personal beliefs.

His Holiness expressed his full trust that the President-elect and his government would continue to preserve and uphold these values. He concluded by wishing the President-elect every success in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the Mongolian people.

President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay also congratulated Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party for winning Mongolia's Presidential election.

A former wrestler, Mr Khaltmaa Battulga won 50.6 percent of the total vote, giving him the majority needed to overcome his opponent Mr Miyeegombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People's party.

"On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration, I heartily congratulate Mr Khaltmaa Battulga, the new President-elect of Mongolia," CTA president said.

"Mongolia and Tibet share a glorious past based on longstanding religious, cultural and historical ties that have benefited each other over the centuries. The role of the Mongol Khans in the reunification of Tibet after the disintegration of Tibetan empire was particularly significant that helped shape the concept of modern Tibetan nationhood," he said.

"Mongolia's own history is filled with rich historical notes that had a lasting impact on the whole world. In that regard, I applaud your vision to make Mongolia economically self reliant and rebuild the rich legacy of Mongolian history," he said.

"I also deeply admire Mongolia for inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the country. The visit reemphaised the deep spiritual bond that Mongolia and the Mongolian people shares with His Holiness the Dalai Lama," he added.

"On that note, I wish you all the success of your vision, and prosperity and welfare of the Mongolian people under your leadership. I also hope that under your leadership, the historical and deep spiritual bond of Tibet and Mongolia would translate into concrete political support in resolving the dire situation inside Tibet," he said.

Mongolians voted on Friday [July 7] in the country's first ever presidential runoff after the first round of elections failed to produce a clear winner following campaigns tainted by corruption allegations. The presidential race went into a runoff after none of the three candidates won a majority in last month's election in the resource-rich country.

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