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Latvia poll winners should start quick talks on forming coalition-pres

September 18, 2011, 16:31 UTC+3
"This time is for work “for” and not “against”. For Latvia, for Latvian future,” Latvian President Andris Berzins emphasised
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RIGA, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — The winners of the Latvian early general elections should start quick and constructive talks on forming a ruling coalition, based on principles of a close-knit team, said Latvian President Andris Berzins by the results of elections on Sunday.

“Euphoria from the victory and ambitions are not the best satellites for the start of serious work. The victory is temporary emotions which end when real work starts. Last, but not least, I hope very much that Latvian politicians left behind all “children’s diseases”, learnt serious lessons and understood that a real indicator of a politician’s work is fulfilment of promises,” said the head of state.

He also noted that this parliament would have to work only three years instead of four. The new parliament should prove over this period of time that it is better than the previous disbanded legislature. “The economic situation in the world is such that it is not time to fight each other. This time is for work “for” and not “against”. For Latvia, for Latvian future,” Berzins emphasised.

Assessing preliminary election results, the head of state expressed hope that legislators will form a stable ruling coalition and government which could work fruitfully over the next three years. “so as to overcome successfully the programme of the international loan, to consolidate financial discipline in the country and to address with all responsibility the question on forming a budget, to promote entrepreneurial activities as well as to create adequate conditions so that people who left Latvia would return home”.

On Saturday, Latvia held the early general elections. The previous legislature worked less than one year, since it was disbanded by the country’s citizens at the nation-wide referendum, initiated by ex-president Valdis Zatlers. A total of 13 political parties and associations which represented 1,092 candidates, battled 100 seats at the legislative assembly.

According to the CEC, 60.55 percent of the electorate or 903,470 people went to the polls. According to the country’s legislation, the parliamentary elections are pronounced valid irrespective of a turnout.

According to preliminary data of the Latvian CEC, five political parties won parliamentary seats at 1,022 out of 1,027 polling stations. The Centre of Accord association is in the lead, representing the interests of Russian-speaking population; the Centre is led by first Russian Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov.

The Centre of Accord gained 28.54 percent of the vote. It is trailed by the Reform Party, formed on the eve by former Latvian president Zatlers, with 20.78 percent. The Unity Party, led by premier Valdis Dombrovskis, is the last in the trio. It was backed by 18.81 percent of voters.

Parliamentary seats were also won by the nationalist association All for Latvia! – to Home and Freedom (movement for national independence of Latvia) which collected 13.85 percent as well as the Union of “Greens” and Peasants, led by mayor of the port city of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, with 12.14 percent of the vote.


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