LATVIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Saeima

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1993

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Chamber:
  Saeima


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  5 June 1993
6 June 1993


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament provided for in the reinstated Republic of Latvia Constitution of 1922.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 4 May 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration on the Renewal of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia. It declared a transition period that would lead to the full independence of Latvia. Legislative authority was vested in a provisional body, the Supreme Council, which had been elected in March 1990. Full sovereignty was attained in September 1991.

In December 1992, the Supreme Council announced that parliamentary elections would take place on 5 and 6 June 1993. A total of 879 candidates were fielded by 23 parties, movements or pre-electoral coalitions, with the most candidates coming form the “Fatherland and Freedom” Union, the Farmers’ Union and the Latvian Way. The 120-day election campaign focused mainly on economic issues and on the question of whether or not the Russian-speaking population should have the right to vote. In fact only half of this population had been granted Latvian citizenship and were therefore entitled to cast ballots.

The results of the elections – considered to be the first truly free ones in Latvia in 62 years – saw the victory of the centre-right Latvia Way group led by interim President of the Republic Anatolis Gorbunovs. It was followed by the far-right Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK) and the Harmony for Latvia party. The former had advocated a re-establishment of the pre-war population under which ethnic Latvians made up 75% of the total while the latter had called for the integration of the Russian-speaking migrant population. In all, only eight political groups (mostly centrist and centre-right) scored at least 4% of the votes and were therefore entitled to seats in the new Parliament; among the excluded was the Latvian popular Front, the largest party in the outgoing Supreme Council. The elections were observed by several countries and international organizations and were generally recognized to have been free and fair.

On 7 July, Mr. Guntis Ulmanis of the Farmers’ Union was elected President of the Republic by the Saeima. The Latvian Way’s Valdis Birkavs became Prime Minister the next day and, on 20 July, his Council of Ministers was confirmed.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (5 and 6 June 1993): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 1,245,530
Voters 1,119,432 (89.87%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Latvian Way 32.38
Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK) 13.35
Harmony for Latvia-Rebirth of the Economy Union 11.99
Latvian Farmers’ Union (LZS) 10.64
Equal Rights Movement 5.77
“Fatherland and Freedom” Union 5.36
Latvian Christian Democratic Union 5.01
Democratic Centre Party 4.76

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Latvian Way 36
Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK) 15
Harmony for Latvia-Rebirth of the Economy Union 13
Latvian Farmers’ Union (LZS) 12
Equal Rights Movement 7
“Fatherland and Freedom” Union 6
Latvian Christian Democratic Union 6
Democratic Centre Party 5

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 86
Women: 14

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 35 years 14
35 - 44 years 24
45 - 54 years 31
55 - 64 years 23
65 years and over 8


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Lawyers 11
Politicians 10
Engineers 10
Farmers 10
Teachers 9
Journalists 8
Businessmen 8
Civil servants 8
Physicians 6
Diplomats 3
Others 13


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Copyright 1993 Inter-Parliamentary Union