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Latvian Political System


According to the Constitution (Satversme), Latvia is a parliamentary republic in which the sovereign power belongs to the people, who are represented by a unicameral parliament (Saeima), with 100 members elected in general, equal, direct, secret and proportional elections for a four-year period.


The Saeima

The Saeima, and also the people, have the right to legislate, in accordance with the procedures, and to the extent, provided for by the Constitution.

Draft laws may be submitted to the Saeima by the President, the Cabinet or committees of the Saeima, by not less than five members of the Saeima, or, in accordance with the procedures and in the cases provided for in the Constitution, by one-tenth of the electorate.

The Saeima elects President for a term of four years. The same person must not hold office as President for more than eight consecutive years.

The President

The President represents the State in international relations, appoints the diplomatic representatives of Latvia, and also receives diplomatic representatives of other states.

The President implements the decisions of the Saeima concerning the ratification of international agreements (Art.41 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Latvia. During wartime, the President appoints a Supreme Commander.

The President has the right to initiate legislation.

The President proclaims laws passed by the Saeima not earlier than the seventh day and not later than the twenty-first day after the law has been adopted.

A law comes into force fourteen days after its proclamation unless a different term has been specified in the law.

Prime Minister

The candidate for the post of the Prime Minister who is invited by the President invites ministers to form the Government.

When the candidate for the post of the Prime Minister submits to the Saeima the list of government ministers and the proposed government activity plan and receives confidence vote by the Saeima, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers start to fulfil their functions and exercise authority.

The Prime Minister determines the general direction of Government’s activities and ensures coordinated and purposeful work of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The Prime Minister leads the work of the Cabinet of Ministers and is responsible before the Saeima. The Prime Minister chairs Cabinet sittings and meetings of the Committee of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The Prime Minister appoints:

• state ministers (after confidence vote by the Saeima);
• Parliamentary Secretaries of the ministries (according to recommendation by the respective minister);
• ministers (after confidence vote by the Saeima);
• Deputy Prime Minister;
• Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office and advisers to the Prime Minister.

Cabinet of Ministers

Cabinet of Ministers is a collegial institution, which adopts its decisions at the sittings of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Cabinet of Ministers, within the scope of its competence, considers policy planning documents, external and internal legal acts, orders of the Cabinet of Ministers, informative statements, national positions and official opinions of the State.

Upon approval by the Cabinet of Ministers, all legal acts are published in the official newspaper “Latvijas Vēstnesis”.


Ministries are top-level direct administration institutions that develop state policies and that are directly subordinated to a respective Member of the Cabinet of Ministers.

There are the State Chancellery and 13 ministries in Latvia. The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau also has the status of a top-level institution; it is supervised by the Prime Minister and in charge of development and implementation of state policies for prevention and combating of corruption.

98 institutions are subordinated and 84 institutions – supervised by members of the Government, incl. 30 state agencies.

Information about direct administration institutions is publicly available. Database of direct administration institutions is available in the Internet homepage of the Cabinet of Ministers.