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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Latvia Government




Latvia    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Republic of Latvia

conventional short form:  Latvia

local long form:  Latvijas Republika

local short form:  Latvija

former:  Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Riga
Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preilu Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons
Independence: 18 November 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 18 November 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution: the 1991 Constitutional Law which supplements the 1922 constitution, provides for basic rights and freedoms
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens
Executive branch: chief of state:  President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (since 8 July 1999)

head of government:  Prime Minister Andris BERZINS (since 5 May 2000)

cabinet:  Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament

elections:  president elected by Parliament for a four-year term; election last held 17 June 1999 (next to be held by NA June 2003); prime minister appointed by the president

election results:  Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA elected as a compromise candidate in second phase of balloting, second round (after five rounds in first phase failed); percent of parliamentary vote - Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA 53%, Valdis BIRKAVS 20%, Ingrida UDRE 9%
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)

election results:  percent of vote by party - People's Party 21%, LC 18%, TSP 14%, TB/LNNK 14%, Social Democrats 13%, New Party 7%; seats by party - People's Party 24, LC 21, TB/LNNK 17, TSP 16, Social Democrats 14, New Party 8
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges' appointments are confirmed by Parliament)
Political parties and leaders: Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Christian Democrat Union or LKDS [Talavs JUNDZIS]; Christian People's Party or KTP [Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Democratic Party "Saimnieks" or DPS [Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman]; For Fatherland and Freedom or TB [Maris GRINBLATS], merged with LNNK; For Human Rights in a United Latvia [Janis JURKANS], a coalition of the People's Harmony Party or TSP, the Latvian Socialist Party or LSP, and the Equal Rights Movement; Green Party or LZP [Olegs BATAREVSKI]; Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Latvian National Conservative Party or LNNK [Andrejs KRASTINS]; Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Social Democrats) or LSDWU [Juris BOJARS and Janis ADAMSONS, leaders]; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [Alberis KAULS]; Latvia's Way or LC [Andrei PANTELEJEVS]; New Christian Party [Ainars SLESERS]; New Faction [Ingrida UDRE]; "Our Land" or MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Party of Russian Citizens or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV]; People's Party [Andris SKELE]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [Edvins KIDE]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Aivis RONIS

chancery:  4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone:  [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214

FAX:  [1] (202) 726-6785
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador James H. HOLMES

embassy:  Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga

mailing address:  American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 09723

telephone:  [371] 721-0005

FAX:  [371] 782-0047
Flag description: three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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