Pro-Russian Party Tops Latvian Opinion Poll

RIGA, March 3 (RIA Novosti) – Latvia’s Harmony Center party, predominantly backed by ethnic Russians, has picked up support in a new opinion poll published by the Latvian Facts bureau.

Support for Harmony Center rose to 26 percent, from 25 percent in a previous survey a month ago. The poll showed Latvia’s ruling Unity party is the second popular party (14.3 percent), followed by the Union of Greens and Farmers ( 9.3 percent).

The poll results are based on February’s interviews with 1,000 Latvians.

Following 2011 parliamentary election, Harmony Center obtained 31 out of 100 seats in the parliament. However, it remains in opposition as majority ethnic-Latvian parties believe its ideology is against the interests of the Latvian state.

Ethnic Russians make up almost 30% of Latvia’s 2 million population. About 100,000 of them have been given special non-citizen passports.

Latvia maintains that it was illegally incorporated into the USSR in 1940 and then occupied by the Soviets until 1991, during which time hundreds of thousands of Russians immigrated into the republic.


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