Cover Osteuropa 11/2011

In Osteuropa 11/2011

Ethnicity and Democracy
The 2011 Parliamentary Election in Latvia

Juris Rozenvalds

Deutsche Fassung


In the elections to the Latvian Saeima in September 2011, Harmony Centre (Saskaņas Centrs), a party supported by the majority of Latvia’s Russian-speaking population, became the strongest parliamentary group. The new party of former President Valdis Zatlers also achieved a high degree of popularity. By contrast, the former ruling party and the oligarch parties suffered heavy losses. After the elections, the ethnic-Latvian political elite struggled with the question whether it should maintain its monopoly on power. But it lacked the courage to open the state apparatus to representatives of the country’s Russian-speaking citizens.

(Osteuropa 11/2011, pp. 43–56)