September 17, 2011
With 95 percent of voting districts reporting, provisional results of the snap parliamentary election in Latvia show that the center-left and pro-Russian party Harmony Centre (Saskaņas centrs) looks to claim 34 seats in the 100-member Saeima.
Harmony Centre received nearly 29 percent of about 870,000 votes cast in Latvia and abroad, according to the results tabulated by the Central Election Commission in Rīga.
In second place is ex-President Valdis Zatlers’ Reform Party (Zatlera Reformu partija) with almost 21 percent of the vote, followed by Unity (Vienotība), nearly 18.5 percent; the National Association (Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”-“Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”), almost 13.6 percent; and the Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība), a bit more than 12 percent.
The results suggest Zatlers’ party will get 22 seats in the Saeima, Unity will keep 19, the National Association will get 13 and the Greens and Farmers will take just 12.
None of the eight other parties—including the one led by oligarch Ainārs Šlesers—received enough votes to top the 5 percent barrier for inclusion in the Saeima.
Now politicians will start discussions about forming a new government, with the key question being whether Harmony Centre will get a seat at the table.