Prime Minister Karins’ party clearly ahead

ÜOvershadowed by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and concerns about rising energy costs, Latvia has elected a new parliament. According to forecasts, a victory for the governing party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerged. However, its liberal-conservative Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) and its three allies are likely to lose their majority in the Saeima parliament in Riga. A total of seven parties could therefore make it into the parliament of the EU and NATO countries. The first official results are expected on Sunday night.

According to the joint post-election survey by Latvian radio and the Leta news agency, Jauna Vienotiba could expect 22.5 percent of the votes – and thus become the strongest force in the new parliament in Riga. It was followed in second place by the newly founded electoral alliance United List with 11.5 percent, ahead of the opposition Alliance of Farmers and Greens with 10.9 percent.

Only two of Karin’s coalition partners, the national-conservative National Alliance (8.4 percent) and the liberal party “For Development – For!” (5.2 percent), can count on making it into parliament. The Conservatives, who have also been co-governing so far, only have 3.5 percent. The current centre-right government would no longer have a majority.

Opposition party Harmony missed jump in Saeima

According to the post-election survey, a total of eight parties could make it into parliament. Not among them is the opposition party “Harmonie” – the strongest political force in Latvia to date. The party, whose core voters come mainly from the strong minority of Russian origin, won the most votes in the last elections, but was always left out when the government was formed.

Almost 6,500 voters were asked about their vote for the forecast. The parties were initially only cautious about the results – the post-election polls had already proven to be not very reliable in the past elections. A good 1.5 million voters were called upon to determine the 100 seats in Parliament. Nineteen parties and alliances contested the tenth election since Latvia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In the run-up to the vote, pollsters and experts therefore expected a fragmented parliament in the Baltic republic.

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