Latvia’s hawkish center ruling coalition has won a clear majority in a general election, results showed on Sunday, after taking a hard line over the actions of Russia, its neighbor and former ruler, in Ukraine. Victory for the center in the Baltic state, which takes over the presidency of the EU at the start of next year, will bring a sigh of relief from many worried that the pro-Russian Concord party might gain power and give Russian President Vladimir Putin a friendly voice in the European Union. “The pro-European, relatively predictable, economically liberal course will continue,” Ivars Ijabs, associate professor of political science from University of Latvia, said.
Together, the Unity party, the Nationalist Alliance and the Union of Greens and Farmers had won 58 percent support with 99 percent of votes counted, according to figures from the electoral commission.
“Putting the current votes for the coalition in the preliminary results together, it [the coalition] has convincingly acquired a majority,” Latvian President Andris Berzins said on television on Sunday.
While Latvia is still recovering from the financial crisis which saw its economy contract around 20 percent, the election has been dominated by security issues.