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Snap poll in Latvia after row over oligarchs

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Snap poll in Latvia after row over oligarchs


Latvians are going to the polls today in a snap election, with a party backed by the country’s large Russian minority leading the opinion polls.

However, some analysts say the Harmony Centre party may be blocked from entering the government for the first time since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

They say a coalition looks on the cards, between the incumbent prime minister and a party formed by an ex-president who forced this snap election to try to break the power of oligarch businessman.

Harmony Centre wants to boost social spending in response to tough austerity measures and delay Latvia’s entry into the euro zone.

The current prime minister is keen for the country to adopt the euro by 2014, which would be 10 years after it joined the European Union and NATO.

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