The pro-Putin Russia-friendly populist coalition looks set to win the Latvian parliamentary election. Exit polls show the Harmony party holding the lead over the pro-EU liberal coalition.
“No coalition combination is possible without Harmony that would appear able and stable,” Harmony Chairman and Riga mayor Nils Ushakovs told the LETA agency.
Latvia, a member of the European Union and NATO, shares a 270-kilometre border with Russia.
It has a sizable ethnic-Russian minority of around 25 percent, a legacy of nearly 50 years of Soviet occupation that ended in 1991, when the nation regained its independence.
A public TV exit poll late on October 6 showed largest share of the vote went to the Harmony party (19.4%), with the For Development/For! alliance (13.4%) in second place, the National Alliance (12.6%) in third position and the New Conservative Party (12.4%) in fourth.
A second exit poll by the Delfi website showed similar results.
The election commission said turnout was 54 percent. Many observers say they expect the pro-Russia coalition to attempt to form a government with Harmony.
A KPV-Harmony ruling alliance would represent “a rather radical change of Latvia’s position towards the European Union,” Prime Minister Kucinskis said.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)