Latvian premier’s center-right party wins national election

Oct 2, 2022, 1:59 AM | Updated: 5:56 pm
Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Kri...

Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Krisjanis Karins smiles as he speaks to the media while awaiting the results of parliament elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Latvians have held general election that has been influenced by neighboring Russia's attack on Ukraine. An exit poll shows the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter, capturing 22.5% support. Karins currently leads a four-party minority coalition. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

(AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

HELSINKI (AP) — Latvia’s ruling center-right party won the most votes in the country’s general election, centrist parties were the runners-up and pro-Moscow parties crashed in a vote that was shaped by Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to results published Sunday.

With over 99% of the votes counted, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’ New Unity party had captured 19% support, while the opposition Greens and Farmers Union was second with 12.5% and the new centrist electoral alliance United List — made up of several regional parties — was third with 10.9%.

Only eight parties or electoral alliances passed the 5% barrier and secured representation at the 100-seat Saeima legislature. The center-right National Alliance and the centrist Development/For!, which are both members in Karins’ current minority coalition government, are among them.

None of the parties catering to Latvia’s ethnic Russian minority, which makes up more than 25% of the country’s 1.9 million people, managed to secure a seat in Parliament.

Karins, a 57-year-old dual Latvian-U.S. citizen born in Wilmington, Delaware, told media outlets earlier that it would be easiest to continue with the same coalition government if his party won.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the executive vice president of the European Commission and a former Latvian prime minister, said the Baltic country was currently “facing a very complicated geopolitical situation in a context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

Latvia, which borders Russia, joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

“The victory of the prime minister’s party, New Unity, I think, means that people voted for experienced political force with a clear Euro-Atlantic course, which can deal and lead a country in this complicated situation,” Dombrovskis told New Unity supporters in the capital, Riga.

Saturday’s election was a blow particularly for Harmony, a Moscow-friendly party that traditionally served as an umbrella for most of Latvia’s Russian-speaking voters, including Belarusians and Ukrainians.

Harmony received a mere 4.8% of votes in comparison to the 2018 election, when it garnered almost 20% of the vote, the most of any single party, but was excluded by other parties from entering the government.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 had a substantial effect on voter attitudes, observers say, and resulted in a deep division between Russian-speakers opposing the war and those supporting it. Latvia’s economic situation, including soaring energy prices, was the main election issue.

Initial voter turnout was 59.4%, the Central Election Committee said, higher than the 2018 election.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Krisjanis Karins poses for a photo while awaiting the results of parliament elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Latvians have held general election that has been influenced by neighboring Russia's attack on Ukraine. An exit poll shows the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter, capturing 22.5% support. Karins currently leads a four-party minority coalition. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Krisjanis Karins smiles as he speaks to the media while awaiting the results of parliament elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Latvians have held general election that has been influenced by neighboring Russia's attack on Ukraine. An exit poll shows the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter, capturing 22.5% support. Karins currently leads a four-party minority coalition. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Krisjanis Karins gestures as he speaks to the media while awaiting the results of parliament elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Latvians have held general election that has been influenced by neighboring Russia's attack on Ukraine. An exit poll shows the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter, capturing 22.5% support. Karins currently leads a four-party minority coalition. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              Latvian Prime Minister and Head of board of leading political party Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity) Krisjanis Karins smiles as he speaks to the media while awaiting the results of parliament elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Latvians have held general election that has been influenced by neighboring Russia's attack on Ukraine. An exit poll shows the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter, capturing 22.5% support. Karins currently leads a four-party minority coalition. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              Latvian President Egils Levits casts his ballot at a polling station during general elections in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during general elections in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during general elections in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)
            
              Latvians cast their ballots at a polling station during general elections, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

AP

FILE - Oranges rot on the ground on Oct. 12, 2022, at Roy Petteway's Citrus and Cattle Farm after t...
Associated Press

USDA: Florida orange crop down 36% after twin hurricanes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Production of oranges in Florida this season is forecast to be down 36% from earlier estimates, in part a reflection of twin hurricanes that battered growing regions, according to U.S. Agriculture Department figures released Friday. The latest forecast calls for about 18 million boxes of oranges to be produced in […]
12 hours ago
FILE - A JetBlue Airbus A320 taxis to a gate on Oct. 26, 2016, after landing, as an American Airlin...
Associated Press

American, JetBlue expand deal that US is trying to kill

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are pushing ahead with an expansion of their partnership in the Northeast, even as a federal judge considers the government’s attempt to kill the deal. The airlines said Friday that American will add six new routes from New York City while dropping one. JetBlue will […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Guyana opens bidding on 24 new offshore oil, gas blocks

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Guyana on Friday opened bidding on 14 new offshore oil and gas blocks, hoping to capitalize on interest in lucrative fields that are expected to make the South American nation a major oil producer. Guyana is home to one of the largest oil discoveries in the last decade. In 2019, two […]
12 hours ago
FILE - TK Holdings Inc. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., is pictured on June 25, 2017. U.S. saf...
Associated Press

US reports another Takata air bag death, bringing toll to 33

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators and Honda Motor Co. are urging drivers once again to make sure their vehicles haven’t been recalled after another person was killed by an exploding Takata air bag. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that the person was killed in a crash involving a 2002 Honda Accord […]
12 hours ago
FILE - The Flint water plant tower is pictured on Jan. 6, 2022, in Flint, Mich. A judge dismissed c...
Associated Press

Flint water crisis charges dismissed against ex-Gov. Snyder

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge dismissed criminal charges against former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in the Flint water crisis, months after the state Supreme Court said indictments returned by a one-person grand jury were invalid. Snyder, a Republican who left office in 2019, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of misconduct in office. He […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

WTO rules against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Trade Organization has rejected the 2018 import taxes that then-President Donald Trump imposed on foreign steel and aluminum, saying they violated global trade rules. Trump’s tariffs of 25% on foreign steel and 10% on aluminum outraged America’s long-standing allies, including the European Union and Japan, because he relied on a […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Latvian premier’s center-right party wins national election