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Latvians Vote Against State Status of Russian Language

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In a national referendum on Saturday over 470,000 Latvians voted against granting the Russian a status of the second state language, the Latvian Central Election Commission said on Sunday.

In a national referendum on Saturday over 470,000 Latvians voted against granting the Russian a status of the second state language, the Latvian Central Election Commission said on Sunday.

With votes counted at the 770 out 1,035 voting polls, 138,336 people voted in favor of the Russian language and 470,548 against.

Russian-speakers make up 44% of Latvia's 2.3-million population. Latvian is the official state language and Russian is treated as a foreign language.

Latvia’s Central Election Commission gathered signatures last November for a petition to hold a nationwide referendum on granting Russian official-language status. The move was initiated by the Native Language organization and backed by Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov.

 

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