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Saeima (Parliament)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Electoral system module

Parliament name (generic / translated) Saeima / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral Law 7 June 1995
Last amendment: 06.04.2006
Mode of designation directly elected 100
Constituencies 5 multi-member constituencies (from 13 to 32 seats each): Riga (which also includes polling stations abroad), Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme, and Zemgale.
Voting system Proportional: Party-list system with preferential voting.
Electors vote for lists of candidates but can also indicate specific support or rejection. Only those parties obtaining at least 5% of the national vote gain representation in the Saeima. Distribution of seats among them is based on the Saint-Lagüe method. Within each list, the order of candidates is re-arranged to reflect the preferences expressed by the voters. The vote for each candidate is equal to the number of votes cast for the list, plus or minus specific votes. Those candidates with the highest totals are declared elected, up to the number of seats allotted to each list. There are no reserved seats or quotas for women, ethnic minorities or other categories.
Vacancies which occur between general elections are filled by the "next-in-line" candidates of the same party list.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Latvian citizens (including naturalized citizens)
- citizens overseas can vote without restriction
- disqualifications: to be serving court sentences in penitentiaries, legal incapacity, insanity/mental illness
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Latvian citizens (including naturalized citizens)
- citizens overseas are eligible without restriction
- ineligibilities: persons legally declared incapacitated, persons serving a court sentence in a penitentiary or having been criminally convicted; former employees of the USSR, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (Latvian SSR) or foreign state security, intelligence or counter-intelligence services; persons active after 13 January 1991 in the Latvian Communist Party (CPSU), the Working People’s International Front of the Latvian SSR, the United Board of Working Bodies, the Organisation of War and Labour Veterans, the All-Latvia Salvation Committee or its regional committees
Incompatibilities - President of the Republic and some other public officials
- members of the European Parliament
- members of the armed forces
Candidacy requirements - lists of candidates must be submitted to the Central Election Commission between 80 and 60 days prior to the poll
- legally registered political parties or legally registered associations of parties can submit candidatures without restriction
- parties surpassing the 2% threshold are refunded the required 1,400-euros deposit

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