At stake in this election:
- 100 seats in the Parliament (Saeima)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Valdis ZATLERS
- 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 approved by the parliament after being nominated appointed by the President.
- 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 parties in the electoral race:
- Alliance: Unity / Vienotība*
- Leader: Valdis DOMBROVSKIS
- Seats won in last election: 18
- Alliance: Union of Greens and Farmers / Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība (ZZS)
- Leader: Gundars DAUDZE and Augusts BRIGMANIS
- Seats won in last election: 18
- Alliance: For a Good Lativa / Par Par Labu Latviju!***
- Leader: Ainārs ŠLESERS and Andris ŠĶĒLE
- Seats won in last election: 28
- Alliance: Harmony Centre / Saskaņas Centrs (SC)****
- Leader: Jānis URBANOVIČS and Nils UŠAKOVS
- Seats won in last election: 17
- Alliance: National Alliance / Nacionālā Apvienība (NA)*****
- Leader: Roberts ZĪLE and Raivis DZINTARS
- Seats won in last election: 8
- Party: For Human Rights in United Latvia / Par cilvēka tiesībām vienotā Latvijā (PCTVL)
- Leader: Tatjana ŽDANOKA and Jurijs SOKOLOVSKIS
- Seats won in last election: 6
- Party: Other Parties
- Leader: N/A
* Unity is comprised of the New Era Party, the Civic Union and the Society for Other Politics
*** For a Good Lativa is comprised of the People's Party, and Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way. In the last election, the People’s Party won 18 seats and Latvia’s First Party/Latvian Way won 10 seats.
**** The Harmony Centre (SC) is a political alliance formed in 2005. It includes the National Harmony Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia and the 'New Centre'.
***** The National Alliance is comprised of the For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and the All For Latvia!
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 2,097,555 (2010)
- Registered Voters: 1,491,735 (2010)
· Female Population: 1,139,208 (2010)
· 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: 19 (following the 2010 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: 314,633 (est.)