Prime Minister Karins' party is ahead in Latvia's elections

According to the post-election survey, United List came in second with 11.

Prime Minister Karins' party is ahead in Latvia's elections

According to the post-election survey, United List came in second with 11.5 percent, followed by the Union of Greens and Farmers with 10.9 percent. The conservative National Alliance is at 8.4 percent. Only one group close to the Russian-speaking minority, the Stabilization Party, would narrowly make it into parliament with 5.4 percent.

"The election results look quite promising for my party, but it's too early to say more," Karins told reporters after the polls closed. There is a good chance that the head of government will be tasked with forming a new government by President Egils Levits.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine helps Karins secure voters in Latvia," said political scientist Marcis Krastins. At such times, the government's popularity increases. Karins will "probably" win - it depends on how many smaller parties that support the head of government make it over the five percent hurdle into parliament.

The main campaign issues in the Baltic state with around 1.8 million inhabitants were the war in Ukraine, the high cost of living and the desire for energy independence from Russia.

Similar to Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, many people in Latvia fear the Russian attack on Ukraine that their country could also be attacked despite being a member of the EU and NATO.

A voter in Sigulda said he based his vote on support for Ukraine. "I am 83 years old, I lived through the Soviet and German military occupation in the first half of my life." Therefore, it is crucial for him which party supports Kyiv the most against the Russian invasion, Verners Karklin told the AFP news agency.

"People are seeing that we're already in a storm, but it's only going to get stronger and that's making people think more about their future and the future of the country," said President Egils Levits after walking into the polls. Before the parliamentary elections, he had warned against electing politicians from the Russian-speaking community who "were reluctant to say clearly who was the aggressor and who was the victim at the beginning of the Russian invasion".

The Russian-speaking population in Latvia makes up around 30 percent of the population. The social-democratic harmony had condemned Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. However, the party remained reluctant to accuse Moscow's troops of human rights violations. Most recently, the pro-Russian party was confronted with corruption scandals.

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