Latvia, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 28.05.2018, 08:26

Legislation on referendums in Latvia tossed back by president again

Alla Petrova, ИC, Riga, 03.08.2012.Print version
President of Latvia Andris Berzins has once again sent back to Saeima the amendments to the law on initiating a referendum, which make the procedure much more difficult.

Berzins, while making this move, notes that the necessary corrections and changes he requested in the legislation previously, have been made, writes LETA.


His decision to send back again has a new reason – a petition signed by 38 MPs calling on the president to halt promulgation because of the threat of a referendum being organized on the amendments at hand.

Berzins believes that it is possible for Saeima parties to come up with some sort of compromise on this issue.

The president urges Saeima parties to come up with such a compromise, so that an unnecessary referendum is not needed to be organized and money needed for other things is not spent on such a referendum.

As reported, earlier this week, the opposition's Union of Greens and Farmers, with the help of opposition Harmony Center, gathered the necessary 34 signatures from Saeima members to propose a nationwide referendum on the new referendum initiation procedure.

For this to happen, though, 150,000 signatures must be gathered so the referendum could be staged, which means that the Central Election Commission will now have to organize a signature drive.

The amendments to the referendum initiation procedure stipulate that, starting from 2015, initiators of a referendum on amending the Constitution or on dissolution of the parliament will have to themselves collect one-tenth of voters' signatures - about 150,000 signatures altogether, and cover the cost of the signature drive.

The amendments also stipulate that during a transition period until 2015, organizers of a referendum will have to gather 50,000 signatures.

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