Latvia Slide
Northern Ireland

Referendum on 23 July, 2011

President Valdis Zatlers called the referendum under the power given to him by the constitution on 28 May 2011.[2] Zatlers called the referendum in response to the Saeima‘s refusal to sanction a search at the home of MP Ainārs Šlesers, leader of Latvia’s First Party/Latvian Way and a former cabinet minister.[3] According to the current legal procedure, the referendum on the Saeima’s dissolution had to take place no later than two months after the President’s decree.[4]

The Constitution of Latvia foresaw that if the people had not supported Zatlers’ decision, he would have had to resign from the presidency. This could have created a judicial conundrum, however, since Zatlers’ current term expired on 7 July and the Saeima held a presidential election (in which Zatlers was also a candidate) on 2 June.[5] As Zatlers was not reelected, however, this conundrum was avoided.

 

Dr. Gerard O’Hare, Honorary Consul
of Latvia for Northern Ireland
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Honorary Consulate of Latvia
in Northern Ireland
Drumalane Mill, Newry, Co. Down,
Northern Ireland, BT35 8QS

T: +44 (0) 28 3025 4577
F: +44 (0) 28 3025 4561
E: info@latvia-ni.co.uk

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