A fringe party led by an expatriate with links to the German extreme rightists came in second in Latvia’s parliamentary elections, partial early results showed Monday.
Center-right parties did not do as well as anticipated in the weekend vote and may have difficulty forming a coalition government. Seats in parliament are awarded based on the total vote received by a party.
The success of the People’s Movement for Latvia, led by extremist Joachim Siegerist, has thrown Latvia into confusion and could lead to political instability.
The German-born Siegerist, 48, whom some Latvians call “little Hitler,” uses German at his rallies and speaks broken Latvian.
A Hamburg court convicted him in 1994 of inciting racial hatred and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. Siegerist appealed the verdict and is free since there has been no ruling on the appeal.