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Election of the President of Latvia

1. Who may become President in Latvia?

Any person who enjoys full rights of citizenship and who has attained the age of forty years may be elected President. A person with dual citizenship may not be elected President (Article 37 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

The office of the President must not be held concurrently with any other office. If the person elected as President is a Member of the Saeima, they have to resign their mandate as a Member of the Saeima (Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

2. How long is the term of the President’s office?

The Saeima elects President for a term of four years (Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia). The same person must not hold office as President for more than eight consecutive years (Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

3. How does the election of the President take place?

The President is elected by secret ballot with a majority of the votes of not less than fifty-one members of the Saeima (Article 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

At the first sitting of the Saeima held after the election of the President, the President, on assuming office, shall take the following solemn oath: “I swear that all of my work will be dedicated to the welfare of the people of Latvia. I will do everything in my power to promote the prosperity of the Republic of Latvia and all who live here. I will hold sacred and will observe the Constitution of Latvia and the laws of the State. I will act justly towards all and will fulfil my duties conscientiously.” (Article 40 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

4. In what cases do President’s powers expire before their term has ended?

If the President resigns from office, dies or is removed from office before their term has ended. In such cases, the Chairperson of the Saeima assumes the duties of the President until the Saeima has elected a new President. Similarly, the Chairperson of the Saeima assumes the duties of the President if the latter is away from Latvia or is unable to fulfil the duties of the office or any other reason (Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

Upon the proposal of not less than half of all of the Members of the Saeima, the Saeima may decide, in a closed session and with a majority vote of not less than two-thirds of all of its Members, to remove the President from office (Article 51 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

If the President has initiated the dissolution of the Saeima, but more than half of the votes are cast against the dissolution of the Saeima in the referendum, then the President shall be deemed to be removed from office, and the Saeima shall elect a new President to serve for the remaining term of office of the President so removed. (Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia).

The President may be subject to criminal liability if the Saeima consents thereto by a majority vote of not less than two-thirds.

The Law on Election of the President of Latvia