Three of the smaller parties to get state funding

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About one-tenth of the voters in the 13th Saeima election voted for parties which didn't make it into the parliament. That is twice as much as in the 12th Saeima election.

Three parties -- Regional Alliance, Latvia's Russian Union, and the Progressives -- that didn't make it past the 5% barrier required to win seats in parliament, will however obtain state funding.

State funding of €0.71 for each vote annually is provided to make parties less dependent on their sponsors; it is allotted to all parties with voter support above 2%.

First past the post was Latvia's Regional Alliance party, which received 4.16% of the vote. They had a nail-biting election night, as early on when the results were counted their support was above 5% but died down during the night.

They are to receive about €25,000 a year in state funding. 

"These elections were simply very difficult, with a surprisingly negative result. We will doubtless continue to work and fight for the electors' trust," said the party's leader Edvards Smiltēns.

Meanwhile Latvia's Russian Union won 3.2%, after receiving almost 11% of the vote in Latgale, Latvia's east. This political force, lead by former MEP Tatjana Ždanoka, will receive close to €20,000 a year in public funding.

The Progressives party, however, received 2.6% of the vote and will receive about €15,000 a year.

"We're pleased, of course, that we have passed the magic 2% barrier to get state funding which will make things easier for us in the future...the funding is a good basis for covering administrative expenses," said Progressives leader Roberts Putnis. 

Some of the parties, however, did not collect enough votes, like Inguna Sudraba's For Latvia From the Heart, which won 7 seats in the previous election. Her party collected just 1% of the vote, but Sudraba says she will continue being politically active.

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