Saeima

Saeima
Type
Type
History
Founded 7 November 1922
Disbanded suspended from 1940-1991
Leadership
Speaker
Structure
Seats 100
Political groups

Government (61)

Opposition (39)

Elections
Open list proportional representation with a 5% election threshold
Last election
4 October 2014
Next election
6 October 2018
Meeting place
House of the Livonian Noble Corporation, Riga
Website
www.saeima.lv
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Latvia
Foreign relations

The Saeima (Latvian pronunciation: [ˈsa.ɛi.ma]) is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a unicameral parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation, with seats allocated to political parties which gain at least 5% of the popular vote. Elections are scheduled to be held once every four years, normally on the first Saturday of October. The most recent elections were held in October 2014.

The President of Latvia can dismiss the Saeima and request early elections. The procedure for dismissing it involves substantial political risk to the president, including a risk of loss of office. On May 28, 2011, president Valdis Zatlers decided to initiate the dissolution of the Saeima, which was approved in a referendum, and the Saeima was dissolved on 23 July 2011.[1]

The current Speaker of the Saeima is Ināra Mūrniece.

Deputies are elected to represent one of five constituencies: Kurzeme (13 deputies), Latgale (15), Riga (30), Vidzeme (27), and Zemgale (15). Seats are distributed in each constituency by open list proportional representation among the parties that overcome a 5% national election threshold using an unmodified version of the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method.

Etymology

The word "Saeima", meaning "a gathering, a meeting, a council", was constructed by the Young Latvian Juris Alunāns. It stems from the archaic Latvian word eima meaning "to go" (derived from the PIE *ei "to go" and also a cognate with the Ancient Greek eimi, Gaulish eimu, among others).[2] Despite the visual similarity to the names of the Lithuanian and Polish national parliaments – Seimas and Sejm – the name "Saeima" is linguistically distinct, and does not have any historical ties to its Lithuanian and Polish counterparts.

Last election

Summary of the 4 October 2014 Latvian Saeima election results

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Harmony209,88723.0024−7
Unity199,53521.8723+3
Union of Greens and Farmers178,21019.5321+8
National Alliance151,56716.6117+3
For Latvia from the Heart62,5216.857New
Latvian Association of Regions60,8126.668New
Latvian Russian Union14,3901.5800
United for Latvia10,7881.180New
Latvian Development8,1560.890New
New Conservative Party6,3890.700New
Freedom. Free from Fear, Hate and Anger1,7350.1900
Growth1,5150.170New
Sovereignty1,0330.110New
Invalid/blank votes6,953
Total913,4911001000
Registered voters/turnout1,552,23558.85
Source: CVK

History

In the pre-war Latvia, Saeima was elected for three year terms. 1st Saeima met from November 7, 1922 until November 2, 1925. 2nd Saeima from November 3, 1925 until November 5, 1928. 3rd Saeima from November 6, 1928 until November 2, 1931. 4th Saeima met from November 3, 1931 until the May 15, 1934 Latvian coup d'état.

See also

References

  1. "Zatlers nolemj rosināt Saeimas atlaišanu" [Zatlers decides to initiate thedissolution of the Saeima]. Delfi (in Latvian). May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  2. Zuicena, Ieva; Migla, Ilga (2008). "Jura Alunāna devums latviešu leksikogrāfijā" (PDF). LU Raksti (in Latvian). 731: 75. ISSN 1407-2157. Retrieved 2010-05-27.

Coordinates: 56°57′04″N 24°06′18″E / 56.95111°N 24.10500°E / 56.95111; 24.10500

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