Latvia, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 25.05.2018, 14:04

Latvian President: why do we need parliament if we keep attempting to solve things through referendums

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 26.06.2012.Print version
Latvian President Andris Berzins said during this morning's edition of the "Latvijas Neatkariga televizija" (LNT) news program "900 Seconds" that if everyone in Latvia keeps attempting to solve things through referendums, why is parliament necessary?

Asked whether he intends to promulgate the bill on the initiation of referendums, Berzins was evasive, writes LETA.


According to the president, referendums should remain a last measure, and that the referendum process is becoming more complicated in other countries. ''What seems attractive to us here in the short-term, the rest of the world has already deemed useless for the long-term,'' Berzins said.


As reported, on June 21 Saeima approved in the final reading amendments to the law that stipulate abandoning the current procedure of organizing referendums; under the new system, initiators of a referendum will have to themselves gather the number of signatures necessary for staging a referendum – around 150,000 signatures altogether.


At this time, the referendum initiation procedure has two stages. In the first stage, at least 10,000 signatures are required to submit the proposed bill or constitutional amendments to the Central Election Commission. In the second one, no less than one-tenth of all eligible voters' signatures must be collected. This stage is funded by the state. If the necessary amount of signatures is collected, the bill is submitted for review in Saeima. If the parliament does not pass it without changes, a referendum is held.

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