RIGA, October 5. /TASS/. Latvia’s social democratic party Solgasiye (Concord), representing the interests of the Russian-speaking population and led by Riga’s first Russian mayor Nil Ushakov, has won elections to the country’s parliament, the Saeima, chairman of the Latvian Central Election Commission Arnis Cimdars said on Sunday.
Along with Soglasiye, five other political forces have won seats in the parliament.
According to the Central Elections Commission, Solgasiye won support from 23.13% of voters. Next are the Unity association, member of which is Latvia’s current Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, with 21.76% of the vote, and the Union of Greens and Farmers, led by the mayor of the port city of Ventspils, Aivars Lemsbergs, with 19.62% of the vote.
Other parties that will be represented in the parliament are the nationalist association All For Latvia! - For Fatherland and Freedom/Movement for Latvia’s National Independence /16.57% of the vote/, the party For Latvia From the Heart led by former Auditor General Inguna Sudraba /6.88% of votes/, and the Latvian Regional Association /6.55% of votes/.
Thus, Soglasiye will have 24 seats in the 100-seat Saeima, Unity - 23 seats, the Union of Greens and Farmers - 21 seats. Seventeen seats will be taken by representatives of the nationalist bloc, the Latvian Regional Association will take eight seats, and For Latvia From the Heart - seven seats.
Other parties failed to surmount the five-percent barrier to win seats in the parliament. Among them was Latvia’s Russian Union, which also represents the interests of Russian speakers. It won a mere 1.58% of votes.
Latvia elected its parliament on October 4. Thirteen political parties and associations vied for seats in the parliament. In all, 1,156 candidates were nominated. Voting was held at 1,051 polling stations, of which 953 were located in Latvia and the rest 98 - abroad.
According to the Central Election Commission, no serious incidents were reported during the voting. Latvia’s security police received several warnings about possible vote buying. Police registered 56 violations of campaigning rules. Eleven administrative offence cases were opened.
Some 1.5 million out of about two million Latvian residents enjoy the right to vote. The turnout at the parliamentary elections was 58.8%, or 912,660 people. Under the Latvian laws, elections are valid regardless of the turnout.
Notably, about 320,000 people - Russian-speaking non-citizens - were not allowed to take part in the elections again. These people were deprived of Latvia’s citizenship after Latvia quitted the former Soviet Union and have not enjoyed the right to vote ever since.