At stake in this Referendum:
- President Valdis ZALTERS called a referendum for the dissolution of the country’s parliament after lawmakers blocked an anti-corruption investigation against a prominent politician. The Latvian constitution gives the president the power to call such a referendum although this is first time that power has been exercised.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Andris BERZINS
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Valdis DOMBROVSKIS
- Assembly: Latvia has a unicameral Parliament (Saeima) with 100 seats. ***
Description of electoral system:
- The President is indirectly elected by parliament to serve a 4-year term.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the president with the approval of the parliament.
- In the Parliament (Saeima) 100 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** Every party has a separate ballot and electors are given as many ballots as there are parties contesting the race. When finished voting, electors place the ballot of their choice in an envelope to be deposited in the ballot box. Each party ballot contains a list of candidates predetermined by the party. Electors can accept the list order as presented or alter the list order to their preference. They may do this by both placing a "+" by the names of candidates they want to move up the list order, and by crossing out names that they would like to see be moved down the list order. 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. If any candidate has been elected in this manner in more than one electoral region, he/she is considered elected in the region where most votes were obtained and the seat goes to the next highest candidate of the same list in the other region(s). Distribution of seats among them is based on the Saint-Lagüe method. A threshold of 5% is required in order for a party to enter the parliament.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- A provision to dissolve the parliament of Latvia.* Vai jūs esat par 10.Saeimas atlaišanu?
Vai jūs esat par 10.Saeimas atlaišanu?
* If the referendum fails, the president mus resign. However, ZATLERS voted out of office just prior to the election.
- A majority of electors who cast ballots must vote "yes".
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 2,059,709 (2011)
- Registered Voters: 1,542,193 (July 2011 Approx)
· Female Population: 1,118,381 (2011)
· Is Latvia a signatory to CEDAW: N/A
· Has Latvia ratified CEDAW: Yes, accession (14 April 1992)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 19 (following the 2010 elections)
· Human Development Index Position: 46 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Low (2014)
· Is Latvia a signatory to CRPD: Yes (18 July 2008)
· Has Latvia ratified CRPD: Yes (1 March 2010)
· Population with a disability: 308,956 (est.)