The Central Election Commission is a permanently functioning elected public institution, whose duties include preparations for and holding of the Saeima, the European Parliament and local elections, as well as national referendums and referendums on legislative initiatives.
The functioning of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Latvia is stipulated by the Law on the Central Election Commission, however, several its duties are stipulated also by the Saeima Election Law, the Law on Elections to the European Parliament, the City Council and Municipality Council Election Law, the Law on National Referendums, Initiation of Laws and European Citizens’ Initiative, the Electoral Register Law and the Law on City and Municipality Election Commissions and Polling Station Commissions.
The major duties of the Central Election Commission are:
- to ensure that the Saeima Election Law, the Law on Elections to the European Parliament, the City Council and Regional Council Election Law, the Law on National Referendum and Initiation of Legislation are uniformly and properly applied and strictly enforced;
- to inform and educate voters and inhabitants of Latvia about the voting procedure at elections or national referendums, including referendums on legislative initiatives;
- to make decisions, give orders and elaborate instructions regarding preparations and procedure of elections, referenda and legislative initiatives;
- to determine the distribution of state-allocated financial resources among local election commissions; coordinate and administer the work of local election commissions;
- to provide training for members of local election commissions;
- to prepare proposals for improvement of legislation of elections, referendum and legislative initiatives;
- to compile election or referendum results and publish them in a separate publication;
- to review complaints regarding preparations and procedure of elections, referenda, including referenda on legislative initiatives;
- to review and annul unlawful decisions of local election commissions.
The Central Election Commission consists of nine members. The Chairperson and seven Commission members are elected by Saeima, while one member from among the judges is elected by the Supreme Court at its general meeting.
Central Election Commission has four years of the term of office, and the running election of the Central Election Commission shall be held not later than six months after the convening of the new Saeima.
The first Central Election Commission after the renewal of state independence was established in December 8, 1992. The Chairman of the first Central Election Commission was Atis Kramiņš. However, also July 20, 1922 – the day when the Constitutional Assembly (the Parliament) in the "Valdības Vēstnesis"(“Governmental Reporter”) announced the establishment of the Central Election Commission for the conduct and organization of the 1st Saeima elections - could be considered the foundation day of the Central Election Commission.
The current Central Election Commission was elected on 2nd Feburary 2023, and its chairperson is Kristīne Saulīte.