Latvia coalition holds power as pro-Putin force tops seats


The centre-right coalition of Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma handily won Latvia’s elections while a pro-Russian opposition party narrowly won the most seats, near complete official results showed Sunday.

The leftist Harmony party, allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, took 25 seats in Latvia’s 100-member parliament, but with no coalition partners it is set to remain in the opposition, results from 1,000 of 1,054 polling stations showed Sunday.

Three parties in the centre-right governing coalition took a 61-seat majority, which could rise to 68 with a fourth party possibly joining in.

Two separate exit polls on election night Saturday had put Straujuma’s Unity party narrowly ahead of Harmony, but the partial official results show the centre-right group scored 23 seats, or two fewer than its challenger.