Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pro-Kremlin and populist parties eye power in Latvian vote

Pro-Kremlin and populist parties eye power in Latvian vote

"This is breaking our agreement with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, of which Latvia is a member since 2004, he adds".

After casting his ballot, President Raimonds Vejonis from the Green Party called on fellow Latvians to come to the polls, pointing to the Brexit vote as an example of what might happen if they didn't.

Harmony has said it wants Latvia to stay in the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but to have closer economic ties with Russian Federation.

Dissatisfied Latvians rejected the right-of-centre ruling coalition in Saturday's parliamentary election but suspicion of the left-leaning pro-Russia party makes it likely the next government will be another formation of ethnic Latvian parties to the right.

It enjoys broad support from the Russian minority, which accounts for about 25 percent of the Baltic country's almost 2 million people.

Party (12.04%), the National Independence Movement (11.03%) and the Union of Greens and Farmers (9.96%), which now leads Latvia's ruling coalition, and the New Unity party (6.67%).

Observers say it's unlikely that Harmony, led by Nils Usakovs, who has been mayor of Riga, the capital, since 2009, would team up with Kucinskis' party in a coalition because of substantial policy differences.

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Trump said that what followed was "a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil, and he toughed it out". Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who said she would be a no vote, voting present to make up for her Republican colleague Sen.

Under their watch the economy, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, has resumed growth.

"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 Reuters.

Therefore numerous coalition combinations look potentially possible.

Other parties have previously formed coalitions to keep Harmony out of government. It did not enter government exclusively because it failed to find any other party to form a coalition. Together with Latvia's more established nationalist party, the National Alliance, which came in 5th place, nationalist-populist parties received over 25% of the overall vote.

The result means a confirmation of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member's role as a bulwark against Russian Federation in the increasingly hostile relationship between the West and President Vladimir Putin.

"KPV LV is a "shadow branch" of Harmony, which is not alone in its power quest any more", said political analyst Marcis Bendiks.

Kaimins was briefly detained over alleged corruption in June, but that does not appear to have bothered voters. "We don't have any red lines regarding any other political force", lawyer Aldis Gobzems, KPV LV's candidate for prime minister, said in a recent TV debate. Polling stations are to close at 1900 UTC and final results are expected early on Sunday.

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