Latvian PM’s New Unity party leads vote, exit poll shows


RIGA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’ centre-right New Unity party was poised to win national elections on Saturday, according to an exit poll, after a campaign dominated by problems security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If confirmed, the result should mean that Latvia remains a leading voice alongside its Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Estonia to push the European Union into a decisive stance against Russia.

But it could drive a wedge between the country’s Latvian majority and its Russian-speaking minority over their place in society, amid widespread national anger over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

The first Latvian head of government to survive a full four-year term, Karins, 57, benefited from his Russian policies, which included restricting the entry of Russian citizens from Russia and Belarus.

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Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius and Janis Laizans in Riga; Editing by Justyna Pawlak and David Holmes

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