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Tsipras’ Syriza party declares victory in Greece snap elections

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras speaks with supporters after his party's victory in the Greek general elections at his campaign headquarters in Athens on September 20, 2015. (AFP)

Alexis Tsipras has declared victory for his left-wing Syriza party in Greece's snap elections and vows to swiftly form a coalition government.

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great victory, a clear victory, a victory of the people," said the former Greek prime minister as the Sunday election vote counting was almost through.

With over 80 percent of the votes counted, Syriza has gained 35.5 percent of the votes and 145 seats in the 300-member parliament, closely followed by the conservative New Democracy with 28.3 percent and 75 seats and Golden Dawn in third place with 7 percent and 18 seats.

Earlier, New Democracy head Vangelis Meimarakis conceded defeat after exit polls suggested that the Syriza party has won between 33 percent and 35 percent of the vote, significantly higher than that of New Democracy's.

Tsipras has vowed to quickly form a government with his previous coalition partner, Panos Kammenos’ right-wing Independent Greeks.

"I feel vindicated because the Greek people gave us a clear mandate to continue our struggle, inside and outside the country to lift our country's pride," he said while addressing a crowd of cheering supporters in Athens.

Tsipras also promised to govern for a full term of four years, “We have achieved it: The flags of Greece are flying in the squares of Greece and the European capitals. Greece and the Greek people represent struggle and dignity. And together we will continue that struggle for an entire four years."

The latest elections, Greece’s fifth over the last six years, were triggered after Tsipras resigned as prime minister last month in a bid to face down an internal Syriza uprising related to his policy change to accept austerity measures in return for Greece's third international bailout.

"This result does not belong to Syriza. This result belongs to the working classes of this country, the people who fight for a better tomorrow, who dream of a better tomorrow," said Tsipras.

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