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Kažoka, Iveta

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lr - Latvia | 11/11/2011

Russian will never be second official language

On November 1 the citizen's action group Mother Tongue started gathering signatures for a referendum aimed at having Russian granted the status of second official language in the country. The online paper Ir sees the whole undertaking as pointless: "The chances of the petition or a referendum ending in Russia being established as an official language in Latvia are zero. Let's just do the math! To change the constitution at least half of the citizens who are eligible to vote would have to vote in favour of the change. There are just over 1.5 million such citizens, which means that every second Latvian citizen (more than 750,000!) would have to vote in favour. ... In Latvia there won't be such a high number of people in favour in the foreseeable future. For the purposes of comparison: in the most recent parliamentary elections the [parties of the Russian minority] the SC and PCTVL received a total of 267,039 votes. This hopefully makes it clear that Latvian's role as the only official language in the country is not under threat."

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