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On June 1, 2013 the regular local elections will take place in Latvia. The local elections will take place in 119 constituencies, the borders of which correspond to the borders of 9 cities and 110 counties.
Eligibility for voting
Citizens of Latvia and citizens of the European Union who are eligible to vote and have reached the age of 18 are eligible to elect the council. In order to participate in local elections in Latvia, an EU citizen must be registered in the Population Register of Latvia.
Individuals who have been adjudged incompetent pursuant to the law, are undergoing punishment in penal institutions, as well as those EU citizens who have no right to vote in EU member states whereof they are citizens are not eligible to elect the council.
It is important to know that voters may vote in the municipality where they have been filed with their place of residence 90 days prior to the election day or in the municipality where they own real estate registered in the respective municipality pursuant to the law.
Register of Voters
Unlike the Saeima (Parliament) elections and referenda, in local elections, the Register of Voters is used for accounting voters. This means that each voter will be registered for the local elections on a certain polling station according to their registered place of residence 90 days prior to the election day. (In the elections of 2013 – according to the entry about his/her registered place of residence in the Population Register on March 3, 2013.)
Lists of voters are created in cooperation between the Central Election Commission, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, local authorities and voters.
Those citizens of Latvia who will not have a valid registration place of residence by March 3, 2013 will be included in the register of the polling station, which will correspond to the data on the voter’s last registered place of residence.
In order to inform, in the list of which polling station a voter is included, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs will mail a notice to each voter at their declared residential address. It is planned to prepare and send notices from March 18 to 23, 2013.
From March 25 to May 7, 2013, voters can take the opportunity to change the polling station which has been registered initially. A voter may change the polling station, choosing any other polling station within the municipality, in which they have a declared residence 90 days prior to elections or any other polling station within the municipality, in which they own real estate.
In order to register the change of a polling station, a voter must submit their wish to change the polling station to any residence declaration department of local government. When changing a polling station to the municipality where voters own real estate registered with the territory of the respective municipality according to the procedure set out by law, they have to present a document confirming their property rights – the Land Register statement or an excerpt from the Land Register.
Candidate lists for local elections 2013 will be submitted from April 12 to 22, 2013. Candidate lists must be submitted to the respective city or municipality election commission.
Citizens of Latvia and citizens of the European Union who will have reached at least the age of 18 by the election day are eligible to be candidates for the council elections. Citizens of the European Union who are not citizens of Latvia must be filed with the Population Register to be eligible for being candidates in the council elections. All candidates to the council must be also filed with the Register of Voters.
A candidate to the council may be included in the candidate list if by the day of submission of candidate lists they comply with at least one of the following conditions:
1) they have been filed with a place of residence in the municipality for at least the recent 10 months;
2) they have been working on the administrative territory of the municipality (as an employee or as a self-employed person according to the Law On National Social Insurance) for at least the recent 4 months;
3) they own real estate which is filed with the territory of the respective municipality pursuant to the law.
According to the provisions of this law, a candidate may run for the election only in one council in the Republic of Latvia.
Candidate lists are to be prepared using the application software worked out by the Central Election Commission.
The “City Council and Municipality Council Election Law” and the “Instruction on Submission of Candidate Lists for the City Council and Municipality Council Elections of June 1, 2013” comprise the terms in force concerning submission of candidate lists for local elections.
The period from February 2 till the election day, June 1, is the time of pre-election campaign before the local elections of 2013. During this time, pre-election campaign is carried out and materials of the campaign are promulgated in television and radio, printed mass media, internet and public places in accordance with the procedures stipulated in the law “On Pre-election Campaign Before the Local Government Elections”.
The main institution in Latvia, which controls pre-election campaign, is the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB). For more information see www.knab.gov.lv
According to the voting procedure currently in force, polling stations are open from 7.00 a.m. till 10.00 p.m.
Voters who will not be able to attend their polling districts can take the opportunity to vote beforehand:
Early voting will take place three days before the election day:
- on Wednesday, May 29: from 5.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
- on Thursday, May 30: from 9.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
- on Friday, May 31: from 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
In addition, voting at voters’ residence is organized in local elections for the voters who are unable to attend the voting premises due to health conditions. Voters will be able to use this possibility only in case they are on the territory of the respective polling station by the election day.
When participating in local elections in Latvia, a valid person identification document - a passport or an electronic identification card (eID card) must be presented in a polling station.
Last modified May 23, 2013