08 Oct, 2018

Latvia: Liberals back in Parliament

Voters in Latvia took part in parliamentary elections on Saturday 6 October and ALDE Party member Latvijas Attīstībai participating in coalition with Kustība Par! picked up 12.04% nationwide and 13 seats in the next Saeima (Parliament).

The alliance was founded in April 2018 and positions itself as the only major liberal party in Latvia with a "modern and just Latvia within a unified Europe" its main goal.

The 100 members of the Saeima are elected by open list proportional representation from five multi-member constituencies. The Attīstībai / Par! List won 13,36% of the vote in the capital city Riga (five seats), 14.08% of the vote in Vidzeme (four seats), 10.96% of the vote in Zemgale (two seats) and 4.64% of the vote in Latgale (one seat).

The leader of Latvijas Attīstībai, Juris Pūce, was elected in the constituency of Kurzeme where the list won 11.30% of the vote.

The party received significant support from expatriate voters and topped the ballot in cities worldwide including New York, Mexico, Rome, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, New Delhi, Brisbane, Beijing and Seoul. Votes cast by voters overseas contributed to the result in the Riga constituency.

Pro-Russian party Harmony emerged the largest party in the elections with 23 MPs in the next Saeima, but most other parties have ruled out forming a common government with them. Anti-establishment KPV LV and the New Conservative Party (JKP) both finished second with 16 seats each, and Attīstībai / Par! next with 13 seats. The Union of Greens and Farmers (LZS) of the current Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and the New Unity alliances both lost seats in the election (-10 and -15 seats respectively). Turnout was 54.58%.

Talks between the parties to form a coalition are now underway.

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