RIGA (Reuters) – Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karenz’s centre-right New Unity Party is poised to win national elections on Saturday, an opinion poll showed on Saturday, after a campaign dominated by security concerns in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
If confirmed, the result should mean that Latvia remains a leading voice alongside its Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Estonia in pushing the EU to take a decisive stand against Russia.
Motorists pass in front of a huge election campaign poster depicting Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karenz of the New Unity Party in Riga, Latvia on September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Intes Kalinins
But it could widen the rift between the country’s Latvian majority and the Russian-speaking minority over their place in society, amid widespread national anger over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Karenz, 57, the first Latvian head of government to live for a full four years, benefited from his Russia policy, which included restricting the entry of Russian citizens traveling from Russia and Belarus.
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Additional reporting by Andrios Setas in Vilnius and Janis Layzanz in Riga; Editing by Justina Pavlac and David Holmes