Ethnic Russians seen as having weight in Latvian election

Relations with Russia have long been a dominating topic in Latvia's national politics

Relations with Russia have long been a dominating topic in Latvia's national politics

Before the election, some Latvians were concerned that a strong result for Harmony and the populist KPV could lead to their forming a government and bringing Latvia's foreign policy closer to Putin's Russian Federation.

The country's Russian minority is a major political force as it accounts about 25 per cent of Latvia's almost 2 million people, a legacy of almost 50 years of Soviet occupation that ended in 1991.

"The Latvian president can not but allow Vyacheslav Dombrovsky to set up a new cabinet of ministers", Nils Usakovs wrote on his Facebook page, voicing confidence that the ruling coalition is impossible without the Harmony party.

Harmony party, KPV LV, and the New Conservative Party earned the highest number of votes cast in Latvia's parliamentary elections after counting all votes from the polling stations located in Latvia, according to information available on the Central Election Commission's website. The voter turnout reached more than 54%.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has more than 1,000 troops in the country.

Some Latvians were optimistic about the vote, including Evalds, 75.

And this time, after a decade of trying, the party may finally manage to form a government by joining forces with newcomer populists.

Limousine crash at popular tourist spot kills 20 in New York
Everyone inside the limousine, including the driver, died in the crash, and all those killed Saturday were adults, police added. Federal transportation records say Prestige Limousine was owned by Shahed Hussain and was based at a motel in Gansevoort.

"I will be one of those good people who elect bad politicians", said Raivis, a man in his late thirties, before casting his vote for Harmony in a Riga suburb.

The center-right Greens and Farmers Union of Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis won 9.96 percent and the New Unity took 6.67 percent as the last party crossing the five-percent threshold to have seats in parliament.

"The messages that the voters have tried to send is that we're going to have some new faces in politics", Janis Ikstens, political scientist at Latvia University, told the Reuters news agency.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation now has more than 1,000 troops deployed in the Baltic country of 2 million and even the potential of a minor shift in allegiance in Latvia will worry both Brussels and Washington.

Polls suggest the Greens and Farmers Union, which now holds the posts of both president and prime minister, will win no more than 15 seats in the 100-seat parliament. The main opponents of "Consent" - centrist party KPV - scored 14.1%, and their voices right NPC gave 13.6% of the electorate. It did not enter government exclusively because it failed to find any other party to form a coalition.

Kaimins was briefly detained over alleged corruption in June, but that does not appear to have bothered voters.

And the party's candidate for prime minister, lawyer Aldis Gobzems, recently suggested they were open to working with other parties.

Latest News