Latvia: Government

Republic of Latvia Flag
Coat of Arms of Republic of Latvia

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Raimonds Vejonis

Head of Government: Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis

Overview

Government Name: Republic of Latvia

Constitution: Adopted: 1922; Sets out a foundation for the roles and structures of its three branches of government. Also discusses fundamental human rights and establishes Latvia as a democratic republic.

Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The president is largely a ceremonial head of state, has influence rather than power; President has personal discretion over the proposal of legislation to the parliament, vetoing legislation, and calling referendums on legislation. The prime minister's powers, although formally given to the president, are exercised constitutionally by the prime minister. Some of these powers are acting as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, signing treaties, representing Latvia broad, and officially appointing ambassadors and other officials.

The president is elected by Saeima. The prime minister is appointed by the president with the approval of Saeima.

4 years

Judicial

Provides jurisdiction on the various levels of court cases presented.

Judges are appointed by Saeima.

Life appointment

Legislative

Saeima acts as a unicameral legislative body for the Latvian government.

100 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system.

4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Latvia has emerged as a significant international player, supporting peace and democracy world-wide. Per capita, it is one of the largest contributors to international military operations. It has deployed troops to Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, and the Balkans. It also works closely with the U.S. and the EU to support and promote democracy in the former Soviet Union states of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia. A testament to the close relationship between the U.S. and Latvia is the fact that President George W. Bush visited the country twice, the second time to attend the NATO Summit held in Riga on November 28-29, 2006.

Regional Trade Blocs: European Union

Treaties: NATO, Common Security and Defense Policy


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

Australia Group BA BIS CBSS CD CE
EAPC EBRD EIB EU FAO IAEA
IBRD ICAO ICC ICRM IDA IFC
IFRCS IHO ILO IMF IMO IMSO
Interpol IOC IOM IPU ISO ITU
ITUC MIGA NATO NIB NSG OAS
OIF OPCW OSCE PCA Schengen Convention UN
UNCTAD UNESCO UNWTO UPU WCO WHO
WIPO WMO WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification
Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06
Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: State Revenue Service

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary