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Russian-speaking association carries general elections in Latvia

September 18, 2011, 9:16 UTC+3

According to CEC information, 28.95 percent of the electorate voted for the Centre of Accord, while the Reform Party was backed by 20.43 percent

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RIGA, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — According to preliminary data of the Latvian Central Election Commission (CEC), the Centre of Accord association, representing the interests of Russian-speaking population of the country, led by first Russian Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov, won at 986 polling stations out of 1.027 at the early general elections.

It is trailed by the Zatlers Reform Party, led by the former president of the country.

According to CEC information, 28.95 percent of the electorate voted for the Centre of Accord, while the Reform Party was backed by 20.43 percent. The Unity Party, headed by premier Valdis Dombrovskis, drags behind the first two with 18.43 percent. Parliamentary seats were also won by the nationalist association “All for Latvia! – Homeland and Freedom“ (movement for Latvia’s national independence), which won 13.55 percent, while the Union of “Greens” and Peasants whose leader is Mayor of the port city of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs collected 12.25 percent.

Other parties could not hurdle the necessary five-percent barrier. They include the party For Human Rights in United Latvia which represented, in opposition, the interests of Russian-speaking population for many years, but failed to win parliamentary seats at the last elections in 2010.

Latvia held the early elections to the parliament on Saturday. The previous legislature worked less than one year, since it was disbanded by citizens of the country at the nation-wide referendum, initiated by ex-president Valdis Zatlers.

There were 950 polling stations in the Baltic republic, while another 77 were opened in 39 other countries. The voting was held in five districts of the country – Riga, Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale and Zemgale. A definite number of deputies will be elected to the parliament from each district: legislators from Riga receive 30 seats, 27 seats – from Vidzeme, 13 – from Kurzeme, 15 – from Latgale and 15 – from Zemgale.

A total of 13 political parties and associations of the republic, representing, all in all, 1,092 candidates, were battling for 100 parliamentary seats.

Some 2.2 million people, out of whom nearly 1.6 million enjoy the right to vote, live in the country now. Some 345,000 people could not participate again in the elections. These are Russian-speaking “non-citizens” who were deprived of citizenship after Latvia’s secession from the Soviet Union and have no voting rights.


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