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Frustrated Latvians give boot to Parliament

Sun., July 24, 2011, midnight

RIGA, Latvia – Latvians voted to sack their Parliament in a historic referendum Saturday as the recession-weary country attempts to dismantle a culture of graft existing between politics and business.

With some 73 percent of ballots counted, 94.7 percent of voters supported the legislature’s dissolution, according to Central Election Commission data early today, setting the stage for a snap parliamentary election in September.

It was the first such referendum since the Baltic country of 2.2 million people broke away from the Soviet Union 20 years ago.

Latvia is emerging from a deep recession that in three years cut nearly one-fourth of economic output.


 

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