At stake in this Referendum:
- A referendum to approve amending articles 4, 18, 21, 101 and 104 of the Latvian Constitution.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Andris BERZINS
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Valdis DOMBROVSKIS
- Assembly: Latvia has a unicameral Parliament (Saeima) with 100 seats. ***
Description of electoral system:
- The President is indirectly elected by parliament to serve a 4-year term.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the president with the approval of the parliament.
- In the Parliament (Saeima) 100 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** Every party has a separate ballot and electors are given as many ballots as there are parties contesting the race. When finished voting, electors place the ballot of their choice in an envelope to be deposited in the ballot box. Each party ballot contains a list of candidates predetermined by the party. Electors can accept the list order as presented or alter the list order to their preference. They may do this by both placing a "+" by the names of candidates they want to move up the list order, and by crossing out names that they would like to see be moved down the list order. The vote for each candidate is equal to the number of votes cast for the list, plus or minus specific votes. Those candidates with the highest totals are declared elected, up to the number of seats allotted to each list. If any candidate has been elected in this manner in more than one electoral region, he/she is considered elected in the region where most votes were obtained and the seat goes to the next highest candidate of the same list in the other region(s). Distribution of seats among them is based on the Saint-Lagüe method. A threshold of 5% is required in order for a party to enter the parliament.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- A provision to approve amending articles 4, 18, 21, 101 and 104 of the Latvian Constitution. "Are you i n favour of the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia which plans to attribute Russian the status of second national language?"
- A majority of eligible voters must vote "yes".
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 2,034,319 (2012)
- Registered Voters: 1,544,920 (February 2012 )
· Female Population: 1,103,951 (2012)
· Is Latvia a signatory to CEDAW: N/A
· Has Latvia ratified CEDAW: Yes, accession (14 April 1992)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 21 (following the 2011 elections)
· Human Development Index Position: 46 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Low (2014)
· Is Latvia a signatory to CRPD: Yes (18 July 2008)
· Has Latvia ratified CRPD: Yes (1 March 2010)
· Population with a disability: 305,147 (est.)