Latvia election puts pro-Russia Harmony party on top

Relations with Russia have long been a dominating topic in Latvia's national politics

The Harmony party, which draws most of its support from the country's sizeable ethnic Russian minority, won the most votes - 20 per cent - in the general election and is expected to enter talks to form a coalition government with two populist parties.

Voters in Latvia, which is a member of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, are choosing from more than 1,400 candidates and 16 parties to fill the small Baltic country's 100-seat parliament, or Saeima.

The victor at the polls was the Harmony party on 19%, followed by a cluster of five other parties on 10%-14% with New Unity the only other party to scrape past the 5% threshold required to win seats in Saeima.

But Latvia's ethnic Russian minority makes up about a quarter of the country's 1.9 million population.

Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Latvia is now a member of the eurozone and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, having joined the military alliance in 2004.

Along with fellow Baltic states Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia declared independence in 1918 after the Tsarist Russian empire collapsed. Also, the right-wing party "New Unity" passed into the parliament with the result of 6.6%.

"The messages that the voters have tried to send is that we're going to have some new faces in politics", Janis Ikstens, political scientist at Latvia University, told the Reuters news agency.

Harmony wants to remain in the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but have closer economic ties with Russia and only cancelled a cooperation agreement with Putin's United Russia party a year ago.

Mourinho faces touchline ban as FA launch investigation into comments
The second half saw the French midfielder play one of his best matches of the season, before Alexis Sanchez claimed a dramatic late victor .

"Now. voters want new faces: the current ministers can not offer anything entertaining".

The National Alliance is expected to win 13.

"No coalition combination is possible without Harmony that would appear able and stable", party leader and Riga Mayor Nils Ushakovs said.

This potential partner, the party KPV LV, led by former actor Artuss Kaimins, would come second according to some polls that the credit of a dozen seats.

With 100 seats in total, any coalition model would need to control 51 seats to assure a simple majority in parliament.

"KPV LV is a "shadow branch" of Harmony, which is not alone in its power quest any more", said political analyst Marcis Bendiks.

A corruption scandal has undermined voters' confidence in the government. "We don't have any red lines regarding any other political force", lawyer Aldis Gobzems, KPV LV's candidate for prime minister, said in a recent TV debate. But on the eve of the election, a quarter of voters remain undecided, according to independent polling firm SKDS. Polling stations open at 5: 00 GMT and close at 1700 GMT.

Related News:

  • OnePlus 6T All Set to Go Official on October 30

    OnePlus 6T All Set to Go Official on October 30

    Ahead of the launch, OnePlus has already confirmed a lot about the successor to the OnePlus 6. The phone can be pre-booked on Amazon.in, Croma outlets and OnePlus exclusive offline stores.
    Kavanaugh 'Hoax Set Up By Dems' Will Cost Them In The Midterms

    Kavanaugh 'Hoax Set Up By Dems' Will Cost Them In The Midterms

    Trump signed Kavanaugh's commission later Saturday, with Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in the new justice Saturday night. Ryan praised the speech that Senator Susan Collins , R, gave on the Senate floor announcing her vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
    Lunch: Pakistan off to a great start against Australia on day one

    Lunch: Pakistan off to a great start against Australia on day one

    At the other end, back-to-back boundaries by Shafiq against Jon Holland took Pakistan past the 400-run mark. Meanwhile Bilal Asif gets his maiden Test cap for the hosts Pakistan .
  • Drew Brees Becomes NFL's All-Time Leader in Passing Yards

    Drew Brees Becomes NFL's All-Time Leader in Passing Yards

    Brees is roughly 5,000 yards ahead of the next active player on the all-time passing list - No. 4 Tom Brady at 67,077. Highlights of the New Orleans Saints' clash with the Washington Redskins in week five of the NFL.

    Irving Oil refinery explosion shakes Saint John, no reports of serious injuries

    Saint John resident Michael Steeves says he was driving about a kilometre away when he noticed the fire and thick, black smoke. He added when he walked outside he saw thick black smoke billowing so he hopped in his vehicle to take a closer look.
    Israel raids Palestinian village after deadly shooting

    Israel raids Palestinian village after deadly shooting

    More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus called it a "terrorist attack" but added that other unspecified factors were involved.
  • Hansen praises New Zealand fight in last-gasp win over Boks

    Hansen praises New Zealand fight in last-gasp win over Boks

    Many sportsmen have had this injury as have people in other walks of life and they usually make a good recovery". It was tough and I am really proud of the boys.

    Lacazette confident more to come from high-flying Arsenal

    Just work as we did and we will see at the end of the season. Ïwobi's decision making this season has been top notch. I think we are in the first competition in the war.
    Far-Right Bolsonaro Wins First Round of Presidential Election

    Far-Right Bolsonaro Wins First Round of Presidential Election

    As a result, Bolsonaro would have good chances to form a significant majority in Congress were he to win the runoff on October 28. Many voters who supported the fourth-place finisher - conservative Alckmin - may break for Bolsonaro, putting him over the top.
  • Betting suspended on The Everest 12:30pm

    Betting suspended on The Everest 12:30pm

    The controversial Opera House projection is due to take place at 8pm on Tuesday, when the barrier draw for The Everest will be projected on the Opera House sails.
    Conor McGregor Has Already Called Dana White Asking For Rematch

    Conor McGregor Has Already Called Dana White Asking For Rematch

    While Khabib vs McGregor II would definitely do numbers, there are other fighters who are looking for a title shot as well. Twice now, McGregor's taken to social media alluding to the fact he wants another crack at Nurmagomedov.
    Tropical Storm Michael: Storm Could Strengthen Into Category 2 Hurricane

    Tropical Storm Michael: Storm Could Strengthen Into Category 2 Hurricane

    Michael battered parts of Mexico and Cuba with powerful winds and drenching rains on Sunday and into early Monday. It's traveling north at around 7 miles per hour and is expected to increase as it travels further into the gulf.


Most liked

Woj: Jimmy Butler trade talks 'collapsed’ between Timberwolves and Heat
Butler is a four-time All-Star who has told Minnesota that he'll leave in free agency in July and wants a trade now. The saga of Jimmy Butler's pending separation with the Minnesota Timberwolves took another turn over the weekend.

Pep Guardiola is the world’s best manager, says Jurgen Klopp
Graeme Souness also doubts Chelsea, who have also won their first two Europa League games this year, will challenge for the title. Liverpool have a fantastic opportunity to grab a sixth clean sheet of the season at the John Smiths Stadium in a couple of weeks.

'Horrific' limo crash in New York State claims 20 lives
Halse's sister, Karina Halse, told ABC News she had been texting with her sister as she got into the limo on Saturday. Officials are investigating the crash, which occurred near the town of Schoharie in NY state on Saturday afternoon.

Erdogan adviser Aktay says missing Saudi journalist killed in Istanbul consulate
This group is considered to have a connection with the disappearance of Khashoggi. I didn't want to lose my job or my freedom.

Facebook Portal smart screen to launch amid concerns over privacy
For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal , not on Facebook servers. The bigger Portal + sports a huge 15.6-inch Full HD display, which you can also rotate between portrait and landscape.

President Trump Speaks to Police Chiefs in Florida
The report claimed Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Trump and using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. But if he changes his mind, advisers have urged Trump to wait until after the November midterm elections.

'November Is Coming': Hundreds Rally Against Kavanaugh at US Capitol
Approximately 1,000 protesters marched to the Capitol steps chanting "November is coming" and "we believe survivors". Vice-President Mike Pence presided over the roll call, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary.

SpaceX launch and landing in California
Social media went into a frenzy in Southern California Sunday night after odd lights appeared to cross the evening sky. PT from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, leaving a post-sunset contrail glowing in the cloudless skies above .

Hogs battle, but No. 1 Tide roll in 65-31 rout
The Rebels come into the game off a 70-21 victory over Louisiana-Monroe, but they lost to Alabama 62-7 at home on September 15. The Crimson Tide scored a touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage, and also had two TDs in their first three plays.

Aguero nominated for Ballon d'Or
Benzema scored 11 times in 32 LaLiga matches as he helped Real Madrid lift the Champions League during an impressive season. Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has been shortlisted among top stars for this year's Ballon d'Or award.

Manchester United vs Newcastle: Why I changed Paul Pogba’s role - Mourinho
Mourinho also took time to praise the Old Trafford faithful after chanting his name throughout the evening. I felt that on the pitch, I did not want to feel another sadness feeling, another disappointment feeling".

Barbara Bush, daughter of George W. Bush, secretly marries in Maine
Bush , Barbara Bush , Craig Coyne , Barbara Bush and Poppy Louise Hager at Barbara and Craig's wedding on October 7. Bush , 72, and former First Lady Laura Bush , 71, were there, as was her grandfather, former President George H.W.

Google May Release Pixel "Bonito" With SD710 SoC: Rumor
Most specifications of the Google Pixel 3 have also been confirmed, which reveal hardware specifications of smartphones. As indicated by the report , the Pixel Slate dons a showcase with 3:2 aspect ratio and bears a back and a front camera.

Tropical Storm Michael may grow into major Gulf hurricane
The storm is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain on Cuba, with some areas of the island nation seeing up to a foot of water. The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17 percent of crude oil and 5 percent of natural gas output daily, according to the U.S.

William Nordhaus and Paul Romer win Nobel Economics Prize
The award, which concluded this year's series of Nobel prizes , came into existence about seven decades after the others. Romer's research, the academy said, depicts how the collection of ideas sustains long-term economic growth.