ULAN BATOR - Mongolia's prime minister was voted out of office by parliament on Wednesday following accusations of cronyism and a worsening economic situation in the sprawling, resource-rich nation. The opposition Mongolian People's Party had called last month for Norov Altankhuyag's removal as growth stumbled in the former economic success story and foreign investment slumped. Factions from his own party, the Mongolian Democratic Party, also voiced concern at his leadership as political turmoil deepened. At a special meeting of the legislature known as the Great Hural on Wednesday, 54.5 percent of parliamentarians backed Altankhuyag's dismissal, state broadcaster Mongolian National Public Radio and Television said on its website.

Some of his own lawmakers were among the 36 who voted for the sacking, said Xinhua, the official news agency of neighbouring China, which added that he had been criticised for "incompetence and cronyism and corruption".