Nr 98 • Oktoober 2011

An Anti-oligarch Election in Latvia

Latvia has had two parliamentary elections in less than a year. The regular elections that were held on October 2, 2010, produced a coalition government of the Unity (Vienotība) and the Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaā¼o un Zemnieku Savienība – ZZS). However, this government was torn by internal distrust and on issues related to the rule of law, ZZS voted in concert with the opposition parties, Harmony Centre (Saskaņas Centrs – SC) and For Good Latvia (Par Labu Latviju – PLL). Shortly before the presidential elections on May 28, President Valdis Zatlers therefore initiated the procedure for the dissolution of parliament (Saeima). The referendum was held on July 23 and an overwhelming majority (94.3% or 650,518 voters) voted in favour of dissolving the parliament.

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1991–2011: Why Russia’s Democratic Experiment Went Wrong

If anyone had told the demonstrators who had gathered in front of the Moscow White House on August 22, 1991, to celebrate the victory of Russia’s democratic revolution that a short eight years later its leader would be replaced in the Kremlin by a KGB officer openly nostalgic for the Soviet past, they would not have believed it.

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The topics of this issue of Diplomaatia include the current economic crisis and its geopolitical significance, the progress made by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the military developments there as described in a recently published Finnish research paper and the parliamentary elections in Latvia.

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