Latvia

Harmony take lead role


Published

The Social Democratic Party led ‘Harmony Centre’ (SC) has emerged as the largest party following yesterday’s snap general election.

The party which represents the interests of the one third of the population with Russian ethnic background is likely to have around 32 seats in the 11th Saeima. With 1003 of 1027 polling stations having completed their count, Harmony were on 28.6% of the vote compared with their 2010 general election result of 26.04% and 29 seats.

The new party of former president Valdis Zatlers, Zatlers Reform Party (ZRP), is the second largest party with around 20.69% of the vote and about 22 seats.

The party of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Unity (Vienotība), took just 18.64% of the vote and a probable 19 seats. That is down from the 2010 general election where they won 31.22% of the vote and 33 seats.

The National Alliance (VL! – TB/LNNK) an alliance between two parties, All for Latvia (VL!) and For Fatherland and Freedom (TB/LNNK), took 13.71% up from 2010 when they took 7.67% and 8 seats.

The Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) is the last party likely to have representation in the new parliament. They took around 12.16% of the vote, down from 19.68% and 22 seats in the 2010 poll.

Ainārs Šlesers’, Šlesers Reform Party, the rump of what had been For a Good Latvia in the 2010 election took just 2.43% of the vote and will not be represented in the next parliament. In 2010 they had 7.65% of the vote and 8 seats, but in 2006 the then People’s Party (part of For a Good Latvia) had taken 23 seats and were the largest party. Ainārs Šlesers has said that he will withdraw from politics for the time being.

The Corruption Preventing and Combating Bureau (CPCB) had asked to search Ainārs Šlesers house as part of the so called oligarchs case, but the Saeima did not approve that on 26th May which in turn led to the then President Valdis Zatlers to call a referendum which led to the snap poll.

All other parties fell below the 5% threshold for representation in parliament. Turnout was around 59%.

The likelihood is that Harmony, Zatlers’ Reform Party and Unity will try to form a coalition government.

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