Data on political life and religion are used to find out the number of Parliament (Saeima) deputies in breakdown by age, sex, ethnicity and educational attainment, results of Parliament and European Parliament election as well as number of registered religious congregations in breakdown by denomination.

Definitions

Collection of signatures is one of the options how voters in Latvia can participate in the decision making process. Collection of signatures in Latvia is organized in two cases – for the suggestion of draft law or project of amendments in the constitution and for suggestion of referendum regarding a ceased law.

Not less than 10 000 eligible Latvian citizens have the right to submit a completely developed draft law or project of amendments in the constitution for the support of which collection of signatures is carried out. Collection of signatures lasts 30 days. All eligible Latvian citizens aged 18 years and over have the right to sign.

The republic city councils and the municipality councils are elected in equal, direct, secret, free and proportional elections for a period of four years. Regular election of the councils is held on the first Saturday of June.

The number of members to be elected to in the councils is established proportionally to number of people registered in the respective local government administrative territory on the day when the election is announced.

The European Parliament has three working places: Committee plenary sessions take place in Brussels. Administrative Office (General Secretariat) is located in Luxembourg and monthly plenary sessions attended by all European Parliament members take place in Strasbourg and sometimes in Brussels.

Three main tasks of the European Parliament are as follows:

  1. Along with the Council it has the power of adoption of legal acts. Democratic legitimacy of European legal acts is ensured by the fact that the EP is a directly elected structure;
  2. It performs democratic surveillance of all EU institutions. The EP has the right to confirm or turn down commissars nominated for the position and it has right to express distrust to the Commission in general;
  3. Along with the Council it keeps the EU budget under surveillance and thus the EP can influence the EU expenditures. The Parliament either accepts or refuses the budget in general.

European Parliament (EP) is the only European Union (EU) institution which since 1979 is elected in direct election. EP along with the European Council passes laws which influence daily life of the people in the Member States, as well as confirms annual budget of the EU. EP elections take place once in five years.

In 12 June 2004, EP elections took place in Latvia for the first time. 16 parties and alliances of parties submitted lists of member candidates in Latvia. In total 245 member candidates were entered in the lists. Voter turnout was 41.3%. In the EP elections in 2004 nine members from Latvia were elected and worked for the EP.

Next EP elections in Latvia took place in 6 June 2009. 16 parties and alliances of parties submitted lists of member candidates in Latvia. In total 186 member candidates were entered in the lists. 53.7% of eligible voters participated in the EP elections in Latvia. In the EP elections in 2009 eight members from Latvia were elected and worked for the EP.

In 24 May 2014 were held the third elections to the EP. 14 parties and alliances of parties submitted lists of member candidates in Latvia. Voter turnout was 30.2%. Eight members from Latvia were elected and worked for the EP.

Representation (council) elected by citizens and institutions established by this council carries out functions set forth in the legislation and acts on its own initiatives serving the interests of state and population of the corresponding administrative area.

Representation (council) elected by citizens and institutions established by this council carries out functions set forth in the legislation and acts on its own initiatives serving the interests of state and population of the corresponding administrative area.

Saeima (the Parliament) is the supreme state governing body of the Republic of Latvia endowed with the legislative power.

Once in four years, on the first Saturday of October, Parliament or Saeima election takes place in Latvia. Everybody who on the election day has reached the age of 18 and is eligible can participate in the election.

Saeima elections in Latvia take place in five constituencies – Riga, Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale and Kurzeme. As Saeima elections unlike local government elections are also organized abroad, voters living abroad are included in Riga constituency.

Saeima elections take place and polling stations are open for voters for one day. Moreover, every voter can vote in any polling station in Latvia or abroad regardless of one’s actual or registered place of residence.

It is not possible to vote in Saeima elections in advance; however, voters living abroad can vote by mail.

Lists of candidates can be submitted for Saeima elections by registered parties or alliances of parties in the order as stipulated by the law. Any citizen of Latvia who on the election day has reached the age of 21 can apply for member candidate provided none of the restrictions of the Saeima Election Laws concerns the candidate.

As there is the proportional electoral system in Latvia, a certain number of members are elected from each constituency and altogether totals 100.

Each party or alliance of parties whose list of candidates has been registered for election to obtain representation in the Saeima has to gain at least 5 % of the total of votes given in the election.

A political organisation may be established by not less than 200 citizens of Latvia with the aim to pursue political activities based on common political goals, to take part in the election campaign, to nominate candidates to the Parliament, to control the activities of the elected Saeima and local government members, to implement its programme with the intermediation of the elected members and to take part in the formation of state administrative institutions.

After the renewal of the Republic of Latvia voters have been invited to decide issues of national importance in referenda: in 1991 "Popular Survey about the independence of the Republic of Latvia", in 1998 "On the amendments in the Citizenship law", in 1999 "On amendments to the Law "On State Pensions"", in 2003 "On Latvia's accession to the European Union", in 2007 "On amendments to the National Security Law and to the State Security Authorities Law", in 2008 "On amendments to the Constitution of Latvia" and "On amendment to the Law on State Pensions", in 2011 Latvian Parliamentary Dissolution Referendum and in 2012 "On the constitutional amendments that provided for the Russian language to have the status of second official language".

Budget and laws on loans, taxes, customs, railway tariffs, military service, war announcing and war banns, conclusion of peace, announcing of state of exception and its termination, mobilization and demobilization, as well as agreements with foreign countries cannot be handed over to referenda. Also laws accepted by at least two thirds of Saeima members’ majority votes as urgent cannot be handed over to a referendum.

All eligible Latvian citizens with the right to elect the Saeima can participate in referenda.

One of the directions of world religions, which has its own creed of faith, doctrine and dogmatics as well as traditional ceremonies.

Religious congregations, religious alliances (churches) and dioceses registered in the order as stipulated by the Law on Religious Organizations. On voluntary basis believers of one religion or denomination unite in a congregation in order to carry out religious activity in a certain populated area, as well as activity of other kind taking into account the effective legislative acts.

Among establishers of congregation there must be not less than 20 Latvian citizens or persons registered in the Population Register of at least 18 years. One person has right to be the establisher of only one congregation. Each inhabitant of Latvia has right to enter a congregation and be engaged in it. Youth who have not reached 18 years can enter congregation only with a written permission of parents or guardians.

Religious alliance (church) unites congregations of one denomination in the order as stipulated by the Law on Religious Organizations. Ten (or more) congregations of one denomination registered in the Republic of Latvia can establish a religious alliance (church). This rule does not apply for religious organizations which take up their activity in Latvia for the first time and which do not belong to religious organizations already registered in the country. Congregations of one denomination can establish only one religious alliance (church) in the country. Diocese is a territorially administrative unit of organizational structure of religious alliance (church) foreseen in the canon law of the respective denomination, and it is superintended by bishop. 

Diocese can be established by a religious alliance (church) with a respective decision. Institutions of religious organizations are institutions which do not have purpose of gaining profit: educational institutions of spiritual personnel, cloisters, missions, diaconal institutions and similar establishments.

Data availability

Dissemination format and Release calendar

Theme Reference period Planned release datesort icon Remarks
Politics and Religion
  • 2017
20.08.2018
  • end of period

Theme Reference period Actual release datesort icon Remarks
Politics and Religion
  • 2015
18.08.2016
Politics and Religion
  • 2014
19.08.2015
Politics and Religion
  • 2013
21.08.2014
Politics and Religion
  • 2011
21.08.2012

Customised data sets

If you would like to obtain statistical data that are not available in publications or in the CSB online data base, please send us an information request:
 - postal mail: 1 Lāčplēša Street, Riga, Latvia, LV-1301;
 - e-mail: info [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv;
 - visiting Information centre.

Read more

Additional information

Acquired votes, in per cent of total: sum of per cent does not comprise 100, as per cent are calculated basing on the number of ballot envelopes and not from the valid ballot papers.

Age of the deputy candidates is calculated (determined) at the election day.

In 2004, the congregations of Christians of Evangelical Faith were registered separately from the New Age congregations.

Data collection

Survey method and data source

Data on politics and religion are collected from:

  • Central Election Commission;
  • Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Justice;
  • Business Register.

Data revision

The published data are final and are not updated.

Comparability

Comparability over time

Data on Saeima deputies in breakdown by age, sex, ethnicity and educational attainment, number of voters are available since the 1st Saeima election (1922–1925).

Data on results of the Saeima election are available since the 5th Saeima election (1993).

Data on election of local governments are available since the local government election of 2001.

Data on European Parliament election are available since the EU Parliament election of 2004.

Data on religious organisations are available since 1990.

Other comparability

Central Election Commission

The Central Election Commission publishes on its homepage information on the results of the Saeima elections, the European Parliament elections and the local government elections.

https://www.cvk.lv/pub/public/
 

Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia

The Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia publishes on its homepage information on the registered political organisations (parties) and associations thereof.

http://www.ur.gov.lv
 

Saeima (Parliament) of the Republic of Latvia

Information on the members of the 11th Saeima is available on its homepage at http://www.saeima.lv/

Contact person on methodology

Name Surname Phone number Position Email
Gundega Kuzmina 67366933 departamenta direktora vietnieks Gundega.Kuzmina@csb.gov.lv

Last update

28.01.2013

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