Opinion polls show Latvian Prime Minister’s New Unity party leading in the vote

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.

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

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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