The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (Satversme) defines that electors, in number comprising not less than one tenth of the electorate, have the right:
- to submit to the President a fully elaborated draft of an amendment to the Constitution or of a law which the President shall present to the Parliament (Saeima);
- to initiate a national referendum regarding recalling of the Saeima.
Voters can use such right within 12 months from the date when the Central Election Commission registered an initiative.
According to the "Law on National Referendums, Legislative Initiatives and European Citizens’ Initiative" an initiative group must register a draft law or draft amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia with the Central Election Commission before starting collecting signatures.
An initiative group may be a political party or association of political parties, as well as a registered association of at least 10 electors. Collection of signatures may be organized only if the draft law or draft amendments to the Constitution are completely evolved by form and contents.
If the draft law or draft amendments to the Constitution is supported by not fewer than one-tenth of the citizens of Latvia eligible to vote in the previous Saeima elections, it is sent to the President who submits it to the Saeima. The Saeima must consider the draft law or the draft amendment to the Constitution during the session when the draft was submitted.
If the Saeima does not adopt without change as to its content a draft law or a draft amendment to the Constitution, this draft law or draft amendment to the Constitution must be put to a national referendum.
According to the Law, Latvian citizens eligible to vote are also entitled to initiate a national referendum on dissolution of the Saeima. Collection of signatures is organized in a similar way. The signatures of not less than one-tenth of voters are needed to organize a national referendum on dissolution of the Saeima.
According to Article 14 of the Constitution, voters may not exercise the right to recall the parliament one year after the convening of the Saeima, one year before the end of the term of office of the Saeima, during the last six months of the term of office of the President, as well as earlier than six months after the previous national referendum regarding recalling of the Saeima.
Who may subscribe?
The citizens of Latvia eligible to vote and who have reached the age of 18 have the right to take part in the signature collection.
Where to subscribe?
To subscribe in support of the initiatives registered in the Central Election Commission is possible:
- in the local government’s institutions for the declaration of a place of residence;
- in municipalities at the head of the municipal government;
- at a sworn notary;
- at an Orphans’ court which fulfils the function of notary public, if there is not any sworn notary in the respective municipality, municipality’s town or parish. (Please note! A signature can be certified at the Orphans’ court only if the voter has declared his/her place of residence in the territory of activity of the respective Orphans’ court.)
- on the portal www.Latvija.lv.