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Latvian referendum to boost voter rights fails

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Latvian referendum to boost voter rights fails

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A Latvian referendum on whether to give people the right to throw out their parliament in between elections has failed to win enough backing.

Half the eligible voters -around 750,000 people -had to back the change, for it to succeed.

But with ballots in almost all voting centres counted, it was apparent this quorum would not be reached.

But analysts said the high turnout – around 40 percent of eligible voters – could create pressure for change.

Critics accuse the Latvian government of corruption and croneyism. The country’s living standards are below those in the West.

And voter dissatisfaction has grown as an economic boom soured due to the global credit crunch.

The next election does not take place for another two years. But a team of experts led by the President has drawn up proposals for alternative methods for dissolving Parliament.