The centrist Vienotība (Unity) coalition of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis has defied the polls and secured the most votes in Latvia’s parliamentary election, provisional results show.
Vienotība’s main challenger, the pro-Russian and center-left Saskaņas Centrs (Harmony Centre) came in second, the Central Election Commission in Rīga reported. Several polls leading up to the Oct. 2 election showed Saskaņas Centrs in the lead.
With about 96 percent of votes tallied, Vienotība took 30.43 percent of the more than 934,000 ballots cast in Latvia. Saskaņas Centrs won 25.87 percent.
Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība (Union of Greens and Farmers) won a surprising 19.52 percent, while Par labu Latviju! (For a Good Latvia!)—a coalition of parties led by oligarchs Ainārs Šlesers and Andris Šķēle—was dealt a blow and received just 7.58 percent of ballots.
The nationalist and conservative coalition of Visu Latvijai! (All for Latvia!) and Tēvzemei un brīvībai / LNNK (For Fatherland and Freedom / LNNK) got 7.49 percent of the vote.
The ruling government coalition led by Dombrovskis consists of Vienotība, Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība and Tēvzemei un brīvībai.
In order to secure seats in the Saeima, a political party needed to get at least 5 percent of the vote.
Falling below the barrier were the remaining eight parties vying in the election: the pro-Moscow Par cilvēku tiesībām vienotā Latvijā (For Human Rights in a United Latvia), which earned 1.42 percent; Ražots Latvijā, 0.96 percent; the iconoclastic Pēdējā partija, 0.86 percent; Par prezidentālu republiku, 0.73 percent; the socialdemocratic Atbildība coalition, 0.63 percent; Tautas kontrole, 0.41 percent; Kristīgi demokrātiskā savienība, 0.36 percent, and Daugava – Latvijai, 0.17 percent.
Voter turnout in Latvia and abroad was greater than in last Saeima election in 2006.
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