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Latvian PM’s New Unity party ahead in vote, exit poll shows By Reuters

© Reuters. Motorists drive past a giant election campaign poster depicting Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins of New Unity party in Riga, Latvia September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins


By Andrius Sytas

RIGA (Reuters) -The centre-right New Unity party of Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins was set to win Saturday’s national election, an exit poll showed, after a campaign dominated by security concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If confirmed, the result should mean Latvia remains a leading voice alongside its Baltic neighbours Lithuania and Estonia in pushing the European Union for a decisive stance against Russia.

But it could widen a rift between the country’s Latvian majority and its Russian-speaking minority over their place in society, amid widespread national anger over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

The first Latvian head of government to survive a full four-year term, Karins, 57, has benefited from his Russia policy, which included restricting the entry of Russian citizens travelling from Russia and Belarus.

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