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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 2018.

Saeima
Saeima logo.png
Type
Type
History
Founded7 November 1922
Disbandedsuspended from 1940-1991
Leadership
Speaker
Structure
Seats100
2018 (Saeima).svg
Political groups
Elections
Open list proportional representation with a 5% election threshold
Last election
6 October 2018
Next election
TBA 2022
Meeting place
Saeimas sēžu zāle.jpg
House of the Livonian Noble Corporation, Riga
Website
www.saeima.lv
Deputies are elected from five constituencies, based on the cultural regions of Latvia.

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.

Contents

EtymologyEdit

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 electionEdit

Summary of the 6 October 2018 Latvian Saeima election results

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Harmony 167,117 19.80 23 –1
Who owns the state? 120,264 14.25 16 New
New Conservative Party 114,694 13.59 16 +16
Development/For! 101,685 12.04 13 +13
National Alliance 92,963 11.01 13 –4
Union of Greens and Farmers 83,675 9.91 11 –10
New Unity 56,542 6.69 8 –15
Latvian Association of Regions 35,018 4.14 0 –8
Latvian Russian Union 27,014 3.20 0 0
The Progressives 22,078 2.61 0 New
For Latvia from the Heart 7,114 0.84 0 –7
Latvian Nationalists 4,245 0.50 0 New
For an Alternative 2,900 0.34 0 New
SKG Union (LSDSPKDS–GKL) 1,735 0.20 0 New
Eurosceptic Action Party 1,059 0.12 0 New
Latvian Centrist Party 897 0.10 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 5,925
Total 844,925 100 100 0
Registered voters/turnout 1,548,100 54.58
Source: CVK

HistoryEdit

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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.

External linksEdit