Latvia

Ruling coalition wins general election


Published

The ruling coalition appears to have won the general election in Latvia which took place yesterday.

With 1,000 out of 1,054 polling stations having reported in, the Social Democratic Party (often referred to as ‘Harmony’ or ‘Concord Centre’) has taken 23.26% of the vote. That compares with 28.36% in the 2011 general election and will probably give them 25 seats compared with 31 seats in the last parliament.

Although Harmony remains the largest party, it is the ruling coalition which is likely to form the government. Unity, which entered into an electoral alliance with centre-right Reform Party took 21.62% of the vote. The combined result for the two parties in 2011 was 39.65% (Unity 18.83% and Reform 20.82%). That gave them 42 seats in the 100 seat Saeima whereas this time they will have around 23 seats.

However, the other members of the coalition, the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) and the National Alliance, have enough seats to give the coalition 61 seats in the 100 seat parliament. The Union of Green farmers have taken 19.74% of the vote compared with 12.22% in 2011. That gives them a likely 21 seats (+8). The National Alliance (NA but also referred to as VL-TB/LNNK) has taken 16.5% of the vote compared with 13.88% in 2011 to give them a likely 17 seats (+3).

Two other parties have entered parliament this time. The left wing ‘For Latvia from the Heart’, which was established on May 5th 2014 with former Auditor General Inguna Sudraba as its Chairwoman, has taken 6.91% of the vote and seven seats.

The Latvian Regional Alliance (LRA) which was formed in August from three regional parties, Alliance of Regions, Latgale Party and Vidzeme Party, enters parliament for the first time with seven seats and 6.47% of the vote.

No other parties have crossed the 5% threshold for representation. Turnout appears to have been low at around 57%.

More detailed briefing on the politics and risk of doing business in this country is available to clients and subscribers. If you would like to know more then please contact enquiries@tradebridgeconsultants.com