At stake in this election:
- 100 seats in the Parliament (Saeima)
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.
- 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 parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Zatlers' Reform Party / Zatlera reformu partija
Leader: Valdis ZATLERS
Seats won in last election: N/A
- Party: National Alliance / acionālā apvienība „Visu Latvijai!” – „Tēvzemei un Brīvībai (LNNK)
Leader: Roberts ZILE
Seats won in last election: 8
- Alliance: Harmony Centre / Saskaņas Centrs (SC)
Leader: Jānis URBANOVICS
Seats won in last election: 29
- Party: Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way / Latvijas Pirmā Partija/Latvijas Ceļš (LPP/LC)
Leader: Ainārs ŠLESERS
Seats won in last election: 3
- Alliance: Union of Greens and Farmers / Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība (ZZS)
Leader: Raimonds VEJONIS
Seats won in last election: 22
- Party: Unity / Vienotība
Leader: Solvita ABOLTINA
Seats won in last election: 33
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 2,204,708 (July 2011 est.)
- Registered Voters: 1,542,193 (July 2011 approx.)