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Local Election 2017

On June 3, 2017 the local elections for the city councils and municipality councils will take place in 9 cities and 110 municipalities of Latvia. The procedures have been set in the City Council and Municipality Council Election Law, the Law on City and Municipality Election Commissions and in the Electoral Register Law.

Eligibility for voting

Citizens of Latvia and citizens of the European Union who have reached the age of 18 are eligible to elect the council. In order to participate in local elections in Latvia, an EU citizen has to be registered in the Population Register of Latvia 90 days prior to the elections.

Voting citizens have the rights to vote on the administrative territory of the local government where their place of residence has been registered 90 days prior to the election day or on the administrative territory of the local government where they own real estate registered in the respective municipality pursuant to the law. 

Candidate lists

Candidate lists for local elections 2017 shall be submitted between April 14 and April 24, 2017. Candidate lists have to be submitted to the respective city or municipality election commission and they have to be prepared by using the software of the Central Election Commission.

A candidate to the council can be included in the candidate list of the administrative territory if by the day of the submission of the candidate lists he/she complies with at least one of the following conditions:

1) he/she had been registered at a place of residence in the administrative territory of the respective local government for at least the recent 10 months;

2) he/she had been working on the administrative territory of the local government (as an employee or as a self-employed person according to the Law On National Social Insurance) for at least the recent 4 months;

3) he/she owns real estate which was registered in the territory of the respective local government pursuant to the law.

According to the provisions of this law, a candidate is eligible to stand for the election only in one council in the Republic of Latvia.

The candidate has to be the citizen of the Republic of Latvia or an EU citizen, registered in the Electoral Register and has to be at least 18 years old on the day of election.

Electoral Register

In local elections the Electoral Register is being created for accounting voters. Each voter is registered for the local elections on a certain polling station according to their registered place of residence 90 days prior to the election day. (05.03.2017.)

Until 25 days prior the election day voters can take the opportunity to change the polling station which had been registered initially. A voter can change their polling station, choosing any other polling station within the administrative territory of the local government, in which they had a declared residence 90 days prior to elections or any other polling station within the administrative territory of the local government, in which they owned real estate.

Voting procedure

On the election day, polling stations are open from 7.00 a.m. till 10.00 p.m.  Three (3) days prior the election day for a few hours it is possible to attend the polling stations and vote beforehand:

Voters who are not be able to get to the pulling stations because of their health can apply for the voting in their residence starting from the fifth day prior the election day. This opportunity can be used only in case the voter is located in the territory of the respective polling station on the election day. 

Voting documents

When participating in local elections in Latvia, a valid person identification document - a passport or an electronic identification card (eID card) has to be presented in the polling station.

Pre-election campaign

The pre-election campaign procedures are stipulated in the Pre-election Campaign law. The pre-election campaign time is the period of 120 days prior the election day. For the local elections for the city councils and municipality councils of 2017 the campaign period will start from February 3 till the election day, June 3. On the election day and one day prior the election day a complete agitation ban is in force in Latvia. 30 days before the election day the pre-election campaign shall stop in television.

Changes in voting procedure

Bearing in mind that several amendments to the Law on City and Municipality Election  have been proposed to the Parliament, certain conditions for the City and Municipality elections may undergo changes.

 

*Photo: A.Cimdars