Europe

President's party seen winning Armenian parliamentary vote

  • Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan arrives at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Davit Hakobyan/Photo via AP)

    Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan arrives at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Davit Hakobyan/Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman uses the light of her cell phone to search for her name to vote, at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Vahan Stepanyan/Photo via AP)

    A woman uses the light of her cell phone to search for her name to vote, at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Vahan Stepanyan/Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Armenians line up to vote at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Karo Sahakyan/Photo via AP)

    Armenians line up to vote at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Armenians voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary election since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister. (PAN Photo, Karo Sahakyan/Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Early results in the Armenian parliamentary election shows the country's ruling party has won just under half of the vote.

Sunday's election was the first since the ex-Soviet nation modified its constitution to expand the powers of parliament and the prime minister.

The Central Election Commission said on Monday that 94 percent of the ballots counted show the Republican Party of Armenia's president, Serzh Sargsyan, winning 49 percent of the vote. The bloc led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian trails with 28 percent. Two more parties also look set to clear the 5-percent barrier necessary to get seats in parliament.

Critics see the constitutional amendments as part of Sargsyan's efforts to retain control of the country after he steps down in 2018 due to term limits.