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Populist business tycoon inaugurated as Mongolia's president

Last Updated Jul 10, 2017 at 5:00 am MDT

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – A populist business tycoon and ex-judo star has been inaugurated as Mongolia’s new president, pledging greater benefits for the county’s 3 million people from their landlocked Asian nation’s vast mineral wealth.

Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party won a runoff Friday against his establishment opponent Miyegombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People’s Party.

Battulga told The Associated Press on Saturday that he wanted a “win-win situation for everyone” when it came to foreign investment, which has slumped in recent years following weaker commodity prices and high-profile disputes between the government and large investors including mining giant Rio Tinto.

Mongolia’s economy grew just 1 per cent last year, down from 17.5 per cent in 2011. It now has $23 billion in debt, more than double the size of its economy.

Battulga was inaugurated Monday.