Mongolia prime minister replaced as head of party

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BEIJING, Oct 27 (Reuters) Mongolia's prime minister has lost his position as head of the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party to the party's secretary general in an election, local media said today.

Sanj Bayar was elected new MPRP chairman yesterday at the 25th party congress, defeating Prime Minister Miyeegombiin Enkhbold in a close vote. The congress opened on Monday to choose new leaders ahead of parliamentary elections next spring.

Mongolia's parliament, the Great Hural, is due to consider investment agreements reached between the government and Ivanhoe Mine, which plans to develop the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper project with its partner, Rio Tinto.

Mongolian President Nambariin Enkhbayar is visiting the United States, where he received 285 million dollars in aid through the Millenium Challenge program. Mongolia is one of the few nations to send troops to support the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The MPRP, established in 1921, is Mongolia's largest party with more than 160,000 members and ruled while the landlocked country was a satellite of the Soviet Union.

It holds 39 seats in the 76-seat parliament and formed a coalition government after Enkhbold was elected prime minister in January 2006.

REUTERS SG ND1756

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