Russian-speakers’ party wins elections in Latvia, but ruling coalition retains majority

The social-democratic party Harmony Centre, representing the country’s Russian-speaking minority, has received the largest support in the 12th Saeima elections, reports. However, the ruling coalition – Unity, the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) and the National Alliance – has retained majority of votes in the Saeima, data published by the Central Election of Latvia show.

The total turnout in Latvia’s general elections was 912,050.

Latest data show that 23.26% of votes have been cast for Harmony, 21.62% for Unity, and 19.74% for the UGF.

As regards the number of seats in the parliament per party, Harmony has gained 25, Unity – 23, the UGF – 21, the National Alliance – 17, while Saeima newcomers – To Latvia from the Heart and the Latvian Regional Alliance – have each received seven seats.

The results of Latvia’s general elections will not bring major political changes in the country, as the current ruling coalition will remain in power, says Professor Mindaugas Jurkynas of Lithuania’s Vytautas Magnus University.

Although the Harmony Centre came in first in the elections, its performance cannot be called victory, says the Lithuanian political expert.

“It won the largest number of votes, as compared with others, but it definitely did not win. As compared with the elections a few years ago, the Harmony Centre, which mainly represents the Russian-speaking community and claims to be a social democratic and centre-left force, it rallied 5 percent less support this time. Back when it had 28 percent of the vote a few years ago, it was not invited to join the government. In Latvia, the main political cleavage lies between the pro-Russian and the patriotic or pro-Western forces – they form a coalition and leave the pro-Russian party out of the government,” Jurkynas told BNS on Monday., following Delfi, BNS

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