Monday 19 September 2011 - 07:04

Pro-Russian party wins Latvia snap vote

Story Code : 99760
Pro-Russian party wins Latvia snap vote
Islam Times reports from AP: With some 90 percent of the votes counted early on Sunday, Harmony Center gained 29.5 percent of all votes cast in Saturday's election.

The result marks a milestone for Harmony Center party, which caters to Latvia's ethnic Russian minority. Approximately one-third of the country's population consists of minorities, whose native language is Russian.

The Reform Party formed by former President Valdis Zatlers was in second place with 20.3 percent, while Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovski's Unity bloc came in third with 18.1 percent.

The right-wing National Alliance secured 13.3 percent of the vote, and the populist Greens and Farmers Union took 12.4 percent.

The other parties, however, did not clear the necessary five-percent threshold to be elected into the parliament.

Thirteen parties participated all together in Saturday's vote. The Latvian Central Election Committee plans to announce the official results and the distribution of the seats in the new parliament later on Sunday.

The snap parliamentary election took place after the previous legislature, elected last October, was dissolved in a nationwide referendum in July.

The legislature dissolution occurred in the aftermath of lawmakers' interference in a major probe into high-level corruption.

Parliamentarians granted the influential politician businessman, Ainars Slesers, immunity, and barred investigators from searching his properties for evidence in the anti-corruption probe.