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YEREVAN, Armenia – 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.