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Collection of Signatures / Amendments to the Constitution of Latvia (2008)

 

Collection of signatures for Amendments to the Constitution of Latvia

The collection of signatures in support of the draft law “Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia” took place from March 12 to April 10, 2008. Voters were able to sign the draft amendments at 620 places designated by local authorities and at 40 places abroad.

The final results of the signature collection testify that 217,567 voters have supported the introduction of the draft amendments to the parliament. 11,095 voters from the above-mentioned number had supported the amendments by their signatures certified by notaries at the first stage of the signature collection.

To summarize the final results of the signature collection the Central Election Commission (CEC) verified all signatures and checked if all persons who had signed the amendments were eligible voters and had not signed more than once.

It was acknowledged that 6,814 signatures might not be taken into account and had to be deleted from the total number of the collected signatures. There were 6,659 cases when citizens had signed more than once, 35 persons were not citizens of Latvia, 22 persons had been found insane, 2 persons were deceased or missing, 1 person had not reached the age of 18 by signing and 60 persons were not be able to identify by the Population Register.

Since the number of the signatures gathered during the signature collection was 14.6% of the electorate (more than one-tenth of the citizens of Latvia eligible to vote in the previous parliament elections), the CEC presented the draft amendments to the State President who submitted them to the parliament.

The parliament has to review the submitted amendments in sitting at which at least two-thirds of the members of the parliamentparticipate. The amendments shall be passed in three readings by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present.

If the parliament rejects the draft law or adopts it with any change to its content, a national referendum has to be held.

The procedure of the signature collection to introduce the amendments to the Constitution was started by Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia. The draft law provided to amend Articles 78 and 79 of the Constitution establishing that electors, in number comprising not less than one tenth of the electorate, have the right to initiate a procedure for the dissolution of Parliament of Latvia (Saeima).