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Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has won a landslide victory in snap parliamentary elections, results showed Monday, cementing his authority months after sweeping to power in a peaceful revolution, reports BSS/AFP.
Pashinyan, a 43-year-old former journalist, has pledged to root out endemic corruption and address widespread poverty in the impoverished, landlocked ex-Soviet republic of three million people. With all votes counted, the bloc led by Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party had taken 70.43 percent of the vote, the central election commission said.
The Prosperous Armenia party led by influential oligarch and former arm wrestler Gagik Tsarukyan came a distant second with 8.27 percent.
Pashinyan hailed his victory on Monday morning, thanking the “mighty people” of Armenia. “I am proud of you… Let’s be courageous,” he wrote on Facebook. He became prime minister in May after spearheading weeks of peaceful anti- government rallies that ousted veteran leader Serzh Sarkisian. But efforts at reform stalled in the face of opposition from Sarkisian’s Republican Party, which dominated the National Assembly until Pashinyan resigned last month and triggered the snap vote. The Republican Party took 4.7 percent in Sunday’s elections, failing to clear the five percent threshold needed to make it into parliament. The only other party to clear the threshold was the liberal pro-Western Bright Armenia, which garnered 6.37 percent of the vote.