MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass World Service) — In a sensational finale to the early election to the Latvian parliament, the Party "Center of Concord" which represents the interests of the country's Russian-speaking part of the population, became the winner. Its leader is Riga's first Russian mayor Nil Ushakov. It is the first victory of a pro-Russian association in the 20-decade history of Latvia's independence. The intrigue now is whether it will be able to become the ruling party.
According to preliminary results, the Center of Concord gathered almost 29 percent of votes, the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" writes. The association that represents the interests of the Russian speaking minority - almost 44 percent of the country's residents - has won the election for the first time in 20 years of Latvia's independence. Also, the Center of Concord adheres to the policy of boosting social expenditures, which is a welcome slogan for the population that has just overcome the deep economic crisis.
The intrigue is whether it will be able to become the ruling party. "The Center of Concord's chances to become the ruling party are high as never before," director of a Latvian market and social research center LF Aigars Freimanis says.
"Whereas earlier, the possibility of forming a coalition with the Center of Concord was flatly rejected by all the rightists’ parties, the situation has changed by now," the expert added.
Coming first does not guarantee you will get to the helm, the "Komsomolskaya Pravda" notes. The Center's rivals, such as the Zatlers Reform Party and the Unity Party, have gathered 20 and 18 percent of votes, respectively. They are already in coalition talks, so Nil Ushakov's Party may fail to get seats in the government altogether. Most likely, it will provoke early elections next year.