September 24, 2018 / 2:36 PM / 25 days ago

TV comic elected mayor of Armenia's capital as new ruling party wins in landslide

YEREVAN (Reuters) - A popular TV comedian was elected mayor of Armenia’s capital Yerevan, results showed on Monday, after a landslide victory for the new ruling party, a former opposition movement that was swept to power in a popular uprising this year.

The My Step Alliance, which includes Prime minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party, won 81.05 percent of the vote, Tigran Mukuchyan, the central election commission head, told a news conference on Monday.

That means its candidate Hayk Marutyan, a comedian who plays a harried father and shop owner on a sitcom on Armenian television, will become the mayor.

The election was held to replace Taron Margaryan, an influential member of the former ruling Republican Party, who resigned as mayor in July, two months after his party was ousted from national power.

Former opposition leader Pashinyan became prime minister in May after the Republicans were toppled following weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism.

Several street protests were later held to demand the resignation of Margaryan, the mayor. The Republican Party did not participate in Sunday’s election to replace him.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Peter Graff

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