Liberal alliance wins snap municipal election in Riga

Europe Materials 30 August 2020 20:05 (UTC +04:00)
Liberal alliance wins snap municipal election in Riga

The liberal alliance uniting For Development/For and the Progressives (AP/P) won Saturday's snap municipal election in Riga, garnering 26.16 percent of the vote, according to the preliminary results announced on Sunday by the Latvian election authority, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Left-wing Harmony was the runner-up in this weekend's polls, winning 16.89 percent of the vote, and center-right New Unity was third with 15.24 percent.

Other parties winning seats on the city council include the bloc of the National Alliance and the Latvian Association of Regions with 9.64 percent, Honor to Serve Riga (GKR) with 7.72 percent, Latvia's Russian Union with 6.52 percent and the New Conservative Party with 6.39 percent of the vote.

The election in Riga was marked by record-low voter turnout, with just 40.58 percent of the eligible voters casting their ballots in the polls.

The victory of For Development/For and the Progressives means that a new coalition will be formed in the Latvian capital city after a decade-long rule of the left-wing Harmony and their coalition partner GKR.

Martins Stakis of For Development/For is seen as the most likely candidate to become the next mayor of Riga. On Sunday, Stakis said he was to start coalition talks with the parties represented on the new city council and promised to put the city's transport system in order by ending what he called a "silent war" among motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

"The voters have put their trust in us, now it is our turn to keep our promises," Stakis said on public television.

The Latvian parliament dissolved the previous city council on Feb. 24, 2020, paving the way for a snap election.