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Pashinyan wins snap Armenian election as rival claims fraud

ACTING Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party won the country’s snap parliamentary elections with a clear majority on Sunday and has started the process of forming a government.

The party finished on 53.92 per cent with all of the votes counted, the Central Election Commission of Armenia confirmed. Its closest rivals, former president Robert Kocharyan’s Hayastan Dashinq, polled 21.04 per cent.

“The people of Armenia gave our Civil Contract Party a mandate to lead the country and, personally, me to lead the country as prime minister,” Mr Pashinyan said today.

His party won 71 seats in the 105-member parliament.

“We already know that we won a convincing victory in the elections and we will have a convincing majority in parliament,” he said.

The snap election was called with Mr Pashinyan under fire following last year’s six-week conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. He had been criticised for ceding too much of the Armenian-majority territory to Baku under the terms of a Russian-brokered peace deal.

However, Mr Kochayran has claimed the vote was fraudulent. The general prosecutor’s office said on Sunday evening it had opened six criminal probes relating to bribery.

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