Latvians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of dissolving parliament in a referendum called to combat the power of oligarch businessmen, early results of the poll showed.
With more than 57 per cent of ballots counted, 94.8 per cent of voters supported the legislature’s dissolution, according to Central Election Commission data released on its website on Saturday.
“Overall voter participation in the referendum was good,” election commission chairman Arnis Cimdars told a news conference. The referendum will lead to a snap election in September.
Only a simple majority was needed to sack the parliament, regardless of voter turnout. Commission data showed that around 44 per cent of registered voters participated.
It was the first such referendum since the Baltic country of 2.2 million people broke away from the Soviet Union 20 years ago.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said he voted for sacking the legislature, the Saeima, since a new election would be an “opportunity to ensure that forces supporting the rule-of-law would have a majority” in a
The referendum was called for in May when former President Valdis Zatlers used his presidential power to dissolve the parliament – a decision that must be supported by a majority of voters.