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logo Parliament building
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Basic data
Seat: House of the Livonian Knighthood, Riga
Legislative period : four years
First session: 1922
MPs: 100
Current legislative period
Last choice: October 6, 2018
Chair: President of the Saeima
Ināra Mūrniece ( NA )
Allocation of seats to the 13th Saeima
Distribution of seats: government
  • JK 15
  • A / P 13
  • NA 12
  • KPV LV 10
  • JV 8
  • non-attached 1
  • opposition
  • Saskaņa 22
  • ZZS 10
  • non-attached 9
  • Website

    The Saeima [ ˈsɑ.ɛimɑ ] is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia . It consists of a chamber with 100 seats.

    The members of the Saeima are determined by proportional representation . Parties that achieve at least 5% of the votes cast move into the Saeima. Elections to the Saeima are held every four years, on the first Saturday in October. In contrast to this, the 2011 election took place on September 17, 2011 based on a referendum . The president of the Saeima ( Saeimas priekšsēdētājs ) chairs the parliament .


    The main task of parliament is to pass laws . They can be submitted by the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary committees, a group of 5 MPs or at least 10% of the citizens entitled to vote. The Latvian Constitution can also be changed by Parliament. In addition, the Saeima approves the state budget , controls the cabinet of ministers and has the right to elect the president .


    The current parliament, the 13th Saeima, has been composed as follows since it was constituted:

    fraction Alignment Chair Seats
    Frakcija SASKAŅA
    social democratic Jānis Urbanovičs 22nd
    Jauno konservatīvo frakcija (JK)
    New Conservatives
    conservative vacant 15th
    Frakcija "Attīstībai / Par!" (A / P)
    Development / For!
    liberal Daniels Pavļuts 13
    Nacionālā apvienība VL-TB / LNNK frakcija (NA)
    National Alliance VL-TB / LNNK
    national conservative Raivis Dzintars 12
    Frakcija KPV LV (KPV LV)
    Who owns the state
    right-wing populist Atis Zakatistovs 10
    Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība frakcija (ZZS)
    Alliance of Greens and Peasants
    agrarian Uldis Augulis 10
    Frakcija Jaunā VIENOTĪBA (JV)
    New Unity
    liberal - conservative Ainars Latkovskis 8th
    Jūlija Stepaņenko, Aldis Gobzems , Linda Liepiņa, Katrina Sprūde, Inguna Rībena, Didzis Šmits , Anda Čakša , Artuss Kaimiņš , Aldis Blumbergs and Andris Kazinovskis
    total 100

    Jūlija Stepaņenko was elected as a candidate for the Sociāldemokrātiskā partija "Saskaņa", but joined the parliament as a non-attached MP. In February 2019, Aldis Gobzems was expelled from the KPV LV and its parliamentary group. In connection with the presidential election , Linda Liepiņa and Katrina Sprūde also left KPV LV in May 2019. In June of the same year Inguna Rībena left the NA faction and Didzis Šmits left the KVP LV. In August 2019, the former health minister Anda Čakša announced that she had left the alliance of greens and farmers to join the Vienotība. Since it is not possible to join a parliamentary group, she has also been a member of parliament since then as a non-attached party, but will cooperate with the Vienotība. The collapse of the CPV faction will continue in 2020 when Artuss Kaimiņš and Aldis Blumbergs were excluded in January.


    House of the Livonian Knighthood, also known as the New House of Knights, seat of the Saeima
    Saeima plenary hall

    The main and session building of the Latvian Parliament is located in the old town of Riga, at Jēkaba ​​ielā 11. On the opposite side of the street are three other buildings that are used by the parliamentary groups and committees. All of these buildings originally served different purposes and were adapted to the new use. The main building was built between 1863 and 1867 according to plans by Robert Pflug and Jānis Frīdrihs Baumanis as a new building for the seat and conference venue of the Livonian knighthood . In 1903 this house of the Livonian Knighthood - sometimes also called the "New Knighthood" - was expanded according to plans by Wilhelm Neumann and rebuilt in 1923 according to plans by Eugen Laube to meet the requirements of the Latvian Parliament (1st Saeima), which met for the first time last year. During the German occupation of Riga from 1941 to 1944, the parliament building was confiscated for the staff of the security police and the security service of the SS Reichskommissariat Ostland .

    Previous elections to the Saeima

    Saeima 1920 to 1934

    On November 18, 1918, the Latvian People's Council declared the Republic of Latvia to be independent as a transitional parliament. The troops of the counter-government of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic were expelled from Latvian territory by January 1920. In the Peace of Riga , the Soviet Union also recognized Latvia's independence. A constituent assembly consisting of 150 members replaced the People's Council as parliament. The provisional constitution of June 1, 1920 regulated the formation of a one-chamber parliament, the Saeima. The Saeima consisted of 100 MPs who were elected in five constituencies. The minimum age for eligibility was 21 years. The 5 constituencies were: Riga , Vidzeme , Kurzeme , Zemgale and Latgale .

    Parliamentary elections took place 5 times:

    The Saeima was dissolved by Kārlis Ulmanis after the coup d'état on May 15, 1934 , and the parties were banned. After the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union, unfree elections were held on July 14 and 15, 1940 for a transitional parliament called Tautas Saeima . The only option was a “people's bloc”, which officially received 97.6 of the votes.

    Elections since the restoration of independence in 1991

    The Supreme Soviet of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (200 members), elected for the last time on March 18, 1990, constituted itself as the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia , i.e. as a provisional parliament. Its legislative term ended with the election of the regular 5th Saeima in 1993.

    Since 1998 the Saeima has always been elected on a Saturday.


    The name of the Latvian parliament - formed from the prefix sa- "together" and eima "[they] go" (an archaic form of the verb iet "go") - must not be confused with Seimas , the Lithuanian parliament, and Sejm , the Lower House of the Polish Parliament.


    • Mads Ole Balling: From Reval to Bucharest - Statistical-Biographical Handbook of the Parliamentarians of the German Minorities in East Central and Southeastern Europe 1919–1945, Volume 1, 2nd edition . Copenhagen 1991, ISBN 87-983829-3-4 , pp. 133 .

    Web links

    Individual evidence

    1. Another MP leaves KPV LV party and parliament faction, May 30, 2019, accessed June 10, 2019
    2. Saeimas deputāte Inguna Rībena pametusi Nacionālās apvienības frakciju, June 5, 2019, accessed on June 11, 2019 (Latvian)
    3. Didzis Šmits izstājas no "KPV LV" Saeimas frakcijas, June 13, 2019, accessed on June 26, 2019 (Latvian)
    4. Former health minister Čakša switches parties from ZZS to New Unity, August 27, 2019, accessed on August 31, 2019 (English)
    5. Latvian MP Kaiminš cold-shouldered by KPV LV party he founded, January 8, 2020, accessed on January 14, 2020 (English)
    6. ^ Andris Kolbergs: Portrait of a city. History of Riga - Old Town . Jāņa Sēta. Riga 1998. ISBN 9984-07-113-8 . P. 70.
    7. ^ Andris Kolbergs: Portrait of a city. History of Riga - Old Town . Jāņa Sēta. Riga 1998. p. 71.
    8. Makss Kaufman: Churbn Latvia. Ebreju iznīcināšana Latvijā . Shamir, Riga 2014, ISBN 978-9934-8494-0-4 , p. 159.
    9. I. Feldmanis: Latvia's occupation, historical and international law aspects (Latvian)

    Coordinates: 56 ° 57 ′ 4 ″  N , 24 ° 6 ′ 18 ″  E