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BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Armenia's acting PM Nikol Pashinyan wins by landslide

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Nikol Pashinyan casts his ballot during an early parliamentary election
Nikol Pashinyan casts his ballot during an early parliamentary election -
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REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan
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Armenia's acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, bolstered his authority as his political bloc won early parliamentary elections in the former Soviet country on Sunday, the Central Election Commission's (CEC) results showed.

My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan's Civil Contract Party, won 70.4 percent of the vote based on results from all polling stations, the CEC said on its website.

Results showed that two moderate opposition parties - Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia - got enough votes to clear the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament.

Pashinyan came to power in Armenia in May after weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism. The former newspaper editor, who was jailed for fomenting unrest in 2008, marked a dramatic break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.

He stepped down in October so parliament could be dissolved ready for the early election but remained the acting prime minister.

"Armenian citizens created a revolutionary majority at the parliament," Pashinyan told reporters at his bloc's headquarters after first results were published.

"If this trend continues, the majority won't face any problems in implementing legislative changes," he said.

After a change of power in the South Caucasus country of around 3 million people, Pashinyan's government sought to initiate changes to the electoral code. But the move was blocked by the former ruling Republican Party, which dominated the parliament.

The Republican Party received 4.70 percent of the vote and it was not clear whether it managed to enter parliament. Under Armenia's constitution, 30 percent of seats in parliament must go to opposition parties.