RIGA, October 17 (Itar-Tass) — More than 2,000 people gathered near the building of the Latvian parliament in Riga on Monday, protesting against the formation of a new government without representatives of the Center of Accord, which represents the interests of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia and won a victory in the early parliamentary election.
Deputies of the Latvian Seim and representatives from organizations of the Center of Accord from Riga and other Latvian cities, their numerous supporters joined the picket. The picketers carried flags, placards and slogans protesting against the formation of a new ruling coalition without the Center of Accord. "Down with ethnic discrimination!"- was the main demand the pickets voiced.
The picketing was accompanied by loud whistles, blowing of trumpets and heavy drumming. Numerous policemen supervised order at the meeting.
Nil Ushakov, the first ever ethnic Russian city mayor of Riga and who is the leader of the Center of Accord, joined the picket. The Center intends to continue the struggle for being included in the government, Ushakov said. It comes out in support of the idea of accord between citizens of this country, but against the government that three parties are attempting to create, ignoring the interests of 28 percent of the population, Ushakov said.
The new Latvian parliament met for the first time on Monday to elect the presidium of the Latvian Seim and its Speaker. Every deputy of the 100- member parliament is to go to the rostrum to take the oath. Latvian President Andris Berzins, who is to officially nominate a candidate for the post of the prime minister this week, will address the parliament.
The Center of Accord won the early parliamentary election in Latvia held on September 17 with 28. 37 percent of votes in its support and got 31 out of 100 seats in the Latvian parliament.