On Thursday, 9 April 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments drafted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development to the Law on Dissolution of the Riga City Council, which provides for postponing of the extraordinary elections to the Riga City Council from 6 June to 29 August 2020. The Riga City Council elections are suggested to be repeatedly postponed due to the state's emergency situation and the restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The amendments to the Law provide that the Central Election Commission (CEC) has to re-announce the elections on 7 July.
To pass into law, the amendments have to be adopted by the Saeima. It is planned that the Saeima will see the amendments on Thursday, 16 April.
On 7 April the government has extended the state of emergency until 12 May this year, thus also affecting the preparation of the Riga City Council elections scheduled previously to 6 June.
The draft law approved by the government is available on the website of the Cabinet: http://tap.mk.gov.lv/lv/mk/tap/?pid=40486116&mode=mk&date=2020-04-09
The Riga City Council's extraordinary elections will have the same voting conditions as they were in the 2017 elections. For elections each voter will be registered at his/her polling station, which must be voted in. On Election Day, polling stations will be open from at 7.00 to 22.00. It will be possible to vote during early voting period three days before the election day. Similarly, voters who will not be able to attend polling stations for health reasons will be able to apply for a vote for voting at their place of residence.
Citizens of Latvia and other member states of the European Union (EU), who have reached the age of 18, are registered in the Voter Register and who had registered place of residence in the administrative territory of Riga 90 days before the Election Day have the right to participate in Riga City Council elections. If elections will be held on 29 August, the right to participate in the Riga City Council elections will have the voters who had their registered residence in Riga on 31 May this year.
Citizens who own real estate registered in accordance with the procedures specified by law in the administrative territory of Riga also have the right to elect the Riga City Council. To use this option, the voter will have to register for elections between the 30th day and the 14th day before the elections, either through the e-service for the change of polling station or by submitting an application in person at any authority for residence declaration of the Riga City.
The voting document in the Riga City Council elections will be a valid passport or identity card (eID). There will be no stamp put in the passport proving participation in the elections.
Candidate lists for the extraordinary elections to the Riga City Council, if the election day is 29 August, can be submitted from 14 to 20 July. The lists of candidates will have to be submitted to the Riga City Election Commission. A registered political party, a registered association of registered political parties, as well as two or more registered political parties that have not formed a registered association of political parties may submit the candidate list for the elections to the Riga City Council.
Nationals of Latvia or other EU Member States who have reached at least 18 years of age and are registered in the Voters Register have the right to participate in local government elections as candidates. In order to stand in the elections to the Riga City Council, the person must meet at least one of these conditions on the day of the submission of the list of candidates – he or she must have a registered place of residence in Riga without interruption for the last 10 months, he or she must have worked as a worker or self-employed person for at least the last four months or he or she has to own real estate in Riga.
9 April 2020
Information department of the Central Election Commission