Record-low turnout at local elections in Latvia

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Local elections taking place across most of Latvia, excluding the capital city, Rīga, failed to stimulate large numbers of people to cast ther ballots.

According to initial figures released by the Central Election Commission (CVK) at close of polls June 5, turnout was a paltry 34.09 percent: the lowest figure in any national election since the restoration of independence more than 30 years ago. A few votes do remain to be counted however and the figure is at least higher than the even more apathetic European Parliament elections in 2014 when 30.12% of those entitled to vote chose to exercise their democratic right, and the European Parliament elections in 2019 which mustered a comparable 33.51%.

Throwing Saturday's voter activity into even sharper relief, some 12% of votes were already cast in early voting before Saturday's main polling day began, which added just 22% more.

Of 964,339 eligible voters, some 327,774 chose to do so.

Bauska district in the south of the country saw just 27% turnout. The most enthusiastic voters were to be found in Preiļi district in the south-east with 45% turnout.

Turnout was lower even than the 40 percent figure in last year's Rīga municipal elections.


CVK chairwoman Kristīna Bērziņa pointed out at a press conference that unfortunately these municipal elections will go down in history as those with the lowest turnout so far. 

"The decline in voter turnout is alarming. We should listen to political scientists, and consider what is the reason why people do not want to go to the polls," said Bērziņa.

Provisional results are due to be announced on Sunday, June 6. 


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