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Liberals Sweep Canadian Elections, Win 54 Percent of Parliament

Featured Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau gives his victory speech after Canada's federal election in Montreal, Quebec, Oct. 19, 2015. | Photo: Reuters Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau gives his victory speech after Canada's federal election in Montreal, Quebec, Oct. 19, 2015. | Photo: Reuters
Canadian news outlets declared the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, the winners of the 2015 federal election, with the party set to form a majority government for the first time since the 2000 election.

With 99.84 percent of the ballots counted, the Liberals had garnered 39.5 percent of the vote and clinched 184 seats in Parliament, 14 more than the 170 required to form a majority government.

With the 184 constituencies in their favor, the Liberal Party has been enabled to govern without the support of other parties.

The official results gave the Conservative Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 29 percent of the vote and 99 seats in parliament, while the New Democratic Party of Thomas Mulcair achieved 13 percent of the votes and 44 seats in parliament.

Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau said that his party was victorious because they got out in the street and listened to the people.

“You built this platform. You built this movement," he told the Canadian people. "You are the reason why we worked so hard to be here tonight and you will be at the heart of this new government ... Have faith in yourselves and in your country."

The victory of the Liberal party is largely being attributed to the collapse of the vote of the left-of-center New Democratic Party, with many incumbent NDP Members of Parliament losing their seats. The party was reduced to 44 seats: heading into the election the party had 95 seats.

The NDP has now been reduced to third party status, making the Conservatives the official opposition, with that party elected in 99 seats. Several prominent Conservatives lost their seats, including former immigration minister Chris Alexander and Julia Fantino, the former Toronto chief of police.

The Canadian Press reported that Stephen Harper will resign his post as leader of the Conservatives.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair did not say if he would stay on as leader of his party during his concession speech.

RELATED: Will Canadians Vote to Remove the Conservatives from Power?     

The election was generally considered free and fair, although there were various reports of pre-marked ballots throughout the country. Nevertheless, Elections Canada, the federal election authority, downplayed these incidents, blaming them on printing issues.

Voters had expressed some concern over irregularities in the election, including, local media reported, accounts of pre-marked ballots in the provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Colombia.

A Conservative campaign worker was convicted of engaging in voter suppression tactics during the last election in 2011, using an automatic calling service to misdirect voters in the city of Guelph to the wrong voting locations the day of the vote.

The ruling Conservatives also passed a controversial law known as the Fair Elections Act, which civil society organizations have criticized for making voting more difficult. The law, ostensibly passed to prevent voter fraud, requires voters to present a state-issued identification card at the polls.

Some voters complained on social media that workers with Election Canada seemed unprepared and unfamiliar with the new regulations.

An observation mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe sent a team to monitor the Canadian election. However that team is comprised only of six people, limiting their ability to document any irregularities.

The head of the OSCE observation team Hannah Roberts specified that they were not in Canada to evaluate whether the election was free and fair.  

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Canada-Decides-Polls-Close-in-Atlantic-Provinces-20151019-0032.html".

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