16:16 GMT +320 February 2017
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    Russian minority party leads in Latvian polls

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    A Russian minority party won 1/3 of the vote in the Latvian early parliamentary elections, the country's central election commission confirmed.

    A Russian minority party won 1/3 of the vote in the Latvian early parliamentary elections, the country's central election commission confirmed.

    This is the first time in 20 years since the tiny Baltic state restored independence that a party defending interests of the country's largest ethnic minority is leading in parliamentary polls.

    The center left leaning Harmony Center party is supported by 28.7% of the vote, the anti-corruption Reform party by ex-president Valdis Zatlers is the runner-up, with 20.82% of the vote, followed by the business-backed Unity bloc with 18.83% of the vote.

    Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis triggered the elections after he dissolved the legislature for not backing a corruption probe of a businessman. Zatlers lost his re-election bid, but voters supported his decision to form a new legislature by passing a referendum.

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