Polls open in historic Latvian language referendum
Riga: Voting stations in Latvia have opened in a historic referendum on whether to make Russian the nation`s second national language.
Latvia`s minority Russians, who make up approximately one-third of the Baltic country`s 2.1 million people, believe that according official status to the Russian language will reverse what they claim has been 20 years of discrimination.
For ethnic Latvians, the Saturday referendum is a brazen attempt to encroach on Latvia`s independence, which was restored two decades ago after the country split from the Soviet Union.
The vote is expected to fail but widen the rift in Latvian society.
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