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Latvia Citizenship Rules May Change

October 04, 1998| Associated Press

RIGA, Latvia — Latvians appeared to have narrowly approved controversial measures to ease citizenship requirements for the country's hundreds of thousands of stateless Russians in a referendum Saturday.

Ethnic Russians make up 45% of the ex-Soviet republic's 2.5 million people.

With votes in from 84% of the precincts, the changes were being approved by a 52-46 ratio.

The referendum is being held in conjunction with voting for Latvia's 100-seat parliament.

Early results showed the center-right People's Party leading with 26%. The conservative Latvia's Way had 23%, followed by the Union of Social Democrats, Fatherland and Freedom, and the New Party.

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