BRUSSELS: Voters in Slovakia, Malta, Latvia and the Czech Republic are casting ballots Saturday in European Parliament elections, reports AP.
The stakes for the European Union are especially high in this year’s selections, which are taking place over four days and involve all 28 EU nations.Many predict nationalists and far-right groups will gain ground, and would try to use a larger presence in the legislature to claw back power from the EU for their national governments.
Moderate parties, on the other hand, want to cement closer ties among countries in the EU, which was created in the wake of World War II to prevent renewed conflict.
Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands have already voted, and the Czech Republic started voting Friday and continues Saturday.
Slovakia, Malta and Latvia are holding their European Parliament elections Saturday — and all the other nations vote Sunday.
Official results will only be released Sunday night, after all countries have voted.
Voting in the Netherlands may have already produced a surprise. An Ipsos exit poll forecast a win for the Dutch Labor Party, and predicted that pro-European parties would win most of the Netherlands’ seats in the European Parliament, instead of right-wing populist opponents.Overall, the European Parliament’s traditional political powerhouses are expected to come out with the most votes. But the center-right European People’s Party and the center-left Socialists & Democrats look set to lose some clout and face their strongest challenge yet from an array of populist, nationalist and far-right parties skeptical of the EU.