Latvia holds referendum on language

Feb. 18, 2012, midnight

Latvian voters on Saturday voted against a proposal to make Russian the second official language of their country. Around 75 percent of voters rejected the law, with turnout placed at 70 percent. Around 27 percent of the population of Latvia belongs to the Russian minority. There are approximately 300,000 Latvian residents, who are classified as “noncitizen” and not allowed to vote. Noncitizen must pass a Latvian language exam in order to become a citizen.

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