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UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION

The Election Law On City and Town Councils,

District Councils and Pagasts* Councils

The Saeima has adopted

and the President of State promulgates

the following law: 

Chapter I

REGULATIONS

Article 1. The city and town councils, district councils and pagasts councils (hereinafter the councils) shall be elected for a period of three years in equal, democratic, direct, secret and proportional elections. The general elections of the councils take place on the second Saturday in March.

Article 2. (1) The number of deputies to be elected to the councils shall be determined in proportion to the number of residents registered in the Residents' Register in the territory of the respective local government on the date the elections are announced:

up to 2 000 residents - 7 Council members;

from 2001 to 5 000 residents - 9 Council members;

from 5 001 to 20 000 residents - 11 Council members;

from 20 001 to 50 000  residents - 13 Council members.

over 50 000 residents - 15 Council members.

(2) The Riga City Council consists of 60 Council members.

Article 3. The administrative territory of the local government of each city, town, district and pagasts shall form a separate electoral region.

Article 4. The elections of the councils shall be announced by the Central Election Commission no later than three months prior to the elections.

Chapter II

VOTING RIGHTS

Article 5. (1) In the Republic of Latvia the following shall have the right to elect the council:

1) citizens of Latvia;

2) citizens of the European Union who are not citizens of Latvia but are registered on the Register of Residents;

3) persons who have reached the age of 18 on the day of the election, have been registered on the Voters' Register and filed with their place of residence on the administrative territory of the respective local government at least 90 days before the day of the election, or persons who own real estate which is filed with the territory of the respective local government according to the procedure set out by law and do not fall under any of the limitations set out in Article 6 of this law (hereinafter - the voter).

Article 6.  The following persons shall have no right to elect the council:

1) who have been pronounced incapacitated according to the procedure stipulated by law;

2) who are undergoing punishment in penal institutions;

3) who have no right to vote in European Union member states whereof they are citizens.

Article 7. ( deleted 11.11.2004.)

Article 8.  (1) In the Republic of Latvia the following shall have the right to be candidates in council elections:

1) citizens of Latvia;

2) citizens of the European Union who are not citizens of Latvia but are filed with the Register of Residents.

(2) persons who have reached the age of 18, are registered on the Voters' Register, if they do not fall under any of the limitations of Article 9 of this law and if they comply with at least one of the following conditions shall have the right to run as candidates:

1) he/she has been filed with a place of residence in the administrative territory of the respective local government for at least the recent 10 months;

2) he/she has been working on the administrative territory of the respective local government (as an employee or as a self-employed person according to the law "On National Social Insurance") for at least the recent 4 months;

3) he/she owns real estate which is filed with the territory of the respective local government according to the procedure set out by law.

(3) according to the provisions of this law, a candidate may run for the election only in one council in the Republic of Latvia.

Article 9. ( 1 ) The following persons shall not be nominated as candidates for the council election and shall not be elected to the councils:

1) who are fulfilling court sentences in penitentiaries;

2) who are recognized as incapacitated in accordance with the procedure set by law;

3) who have been sentenced previously for intentional, severe crimes and whose sentences have not been expunged or annulled, except those pardoned;

4) who have committed a criminal offence in an irresponsible or limited  responsible state, after having committed a crime, have become mentally ill and are incapable of taking conscious action or controlling it and as a result have been subjected to compulsory treatment, or their case has been dismissed without applying such a compulsory measure;

5) who after 13 January 1991 have been active in the CPSU (the CP of Latvia), the Working People's International Front of the Latvian SSR, the United Board of Working Bodies, the Organization of War and Labour Veterans, the All-Latvia Salvation Committee or its regional committees;

6) who belong or have belonged to the salaried staff of the USSR, the Latvian SSR or another country's state security, intelligence or counterintelligence services;

7) (deleted 09.05.2002.)

(2) A citizen of the European Union who has been deprived of the right to be nominated as a candidate and to be elected by a court verdict in the EU member state of his citizenship may not be nominated as a candidate for council elections or be elected in a council in the Republic of Latvia.

Article 10.  (1) The President of State, Saeima deputies, members of the government, prosecutors, judges, state controllers, members of the State Audit Council, members of collective councils of Revision Departments of the State Audit, and members of military service may be nominated as deputy candidates to the council, however, in case of election they shall lose their seat as deputy of the Saeima and the current office, and members of military service shall be demobilized from the service.

(2) Deputies of the council are not subject to compulsory military or alternative service.

(3) Should a deputy of the European Parliament be nominated as a council deputy candidate, he/she shall relinquish his/her seat in the European Parliament within a month after registration as a deputy candidate and shall submit documentary proof about this fact to the respective election commission.  Should such documents fail to be submitted, the election commission shall delete the nominated candidate from the list of deputy candidates of the council.

(4) The limitations enlisted in part one of this Article shall also apply to citizens of the European Union who are not citizens of Latvia.

Chapter III

ELECTION COMMISSIONS

Article 11. The elections of the councils shall be conducted by and their procedures monitored by the Central Election Commission in the procedure set by law.

Article 12. The elections of the councils are prepared and organized by city, town, district or pagasts election commissions and polling station commissions established in the procedure set by law.

Article 13. ( deleted )

Article 14. ( deleted )

Chapter IV

SUBMISSION OF CANDIDATE LISTS

Article 15. (1) In cities, pagasts and district where the number of residents exceeds 5000 on the day of announcement of the election, the following shall be eligible to submit lists of deputy candidates for city councils, district councils and pagasts councils:

1) a registered political organisation (party);

2) a registered union of registered political organisations (parties);

3) two or more registered political organisations (parties) who have not joined in a registered union of political organisations (parties).

(2) In cities, pagasts and district where the number of residents is under 5000 on the day of announcement of the election, the following shall be eligible to submit lists of deputy candidates for city councils, district councils and pagasts councils:

1) a registered political organisation (party);

2) a registered union of registered political organisations (parties);

3) two or more registered political organisations (parties) who have not joined in a registered union of political organisations (parties)”;

4) electoral associations.

(3) (deleted 06.04.2000.)

(4) Electoral associations are composed of persons who have signed the respective candidate list and persons who have been nominated on this list. The submitters of the candidate list shall be responsible for ensuring the lawfulness of the electoral association's activities.

(5) Candidate lists shall be submitted beginning with fifty days, but no later than forty days, prior to the first election day. Candidate lists shall be submitted to the respective city, town, district or pagasts election commission.

(6) The submitted candidate lists shall indicate each candidate's full name, personal identification code, date of birth, address to which he/she is registered, education, principal place of employment and position, citizenship of another state, if any.

(7) The number of candidates nominated on the list may exceed the number of deputies to be elected in the respective council by three candidates. A person may only permit his/her nomination as a candidate on one candidate list. If a candidate is nominated on more than one list, he/she shall be deleted from all lists.

(8) Slips of candidate lists must be filled out legibly, without corrections.

(9) The Ministry of Justice not later than fifty days before the election day shall make an official publication of all the registered political organizations (parties) and their associations.

Article 16.

(1) ( deleted 06.11.96. )

(2) The candidate lists for members of the district town council and the pagasts council shall be signed by no less than twenty voters who are filed with the place of residence on the day of announcement of the election in the administrative territory of the respective local government.

(3) The candidate lists may be signed only by those voters who are not included on any of the candidate lists submitted for the respective council elections. If a voter has violated this provision, his/her candidature shall be deleted from the respective candidate list.

(4) Upon signing the candidate list, the voter shall indicate his/her full name, personal identification code and the address to which he/she is registered. Each voter may sign only one candidate list. If a voter has signed more than one list, his/her signature shall be deleted from all lists.

(5) The submitted candidate list of a political organization (party) or their association is signed by a person authorized by the respective political organization's decision-making institutions.  If the candidate list is submitted by two or more political organizations (parties), it is signed by persons authorized by all the respective political organization's decision-making institutions. 

Article 17. (1) The following documents shall be attached to the candidate list:

1) a statement signed by the candidate included on the list of the candidates expressing agreement to be nominated for the election of the respective council and agrees to processing of his personal data which shall have to be executed in accordance with the stipulations of this law;

2) the declaration signed by the candidate on the list of the candidates about compliance to the stipulations of Article 8 of this law and about being clear from limitations of Article 9 of this law;

3) the following data signed by every candidate of the list: 

a) name, surname, date, month and year of birth, gender, nationality (optional) of the candidate,

b) ID code,

c) citizenship of another state, if any,

d) the registered place of residence in Latvia (a republican city or region and a town, district or pagasts),

e) places of employment and positions (including positions in public, political, religious organizations and trade unions),

f) what educational establishments he has finished (in which year, which speciality or programme),

g) self-assessment of Latvian language proficiency;

h) information as to whether the person has or has not collaborated with the USSR, the Latvian SSR or a foreign state security service, intelligence or counterintelligence services on a contractual basis or as an agent or a resident officer or tenant of an apartment used for clandestine activities;

i) (deleted 11.11.2004.),

j) should the candidate be a citizen of another European Union member state, - a confirmation from the candidate that in the European Union member state of his citizenship he has not been deprived of the right to be nominated for election and be elected by court verdict;

4) a pre-election programme (not exceeding 4 000 letters), signed by all the candidates of the list.

(2) Should a person be nominated as a candidate without having been on registration at the place of residence of the administrative territory of the respective local government for at least 10 recent months before the date of submitting the list of candidates without interruption, yet should the person own real estate registered on the respective territory according to the procedure stipulated by law, a copy of the land register act certified by notary or a certificate from the land register department about real estate ownership shall also be enclosed with the list of candidates.

(3) Should a person be nominated as a candidate without having been on registration at the place of residence of the administrative territory of the respective local government for at least 10 recent months without interruption, yet should the person have been employed on this territory (as an employee or as a self-employed person according to the law "On National Social Insurance") for at least the recent four months before the date of submitting the list of candidates, respective certificates from the employer or the State Revenue Service shall also be enclosed with the list of candidates;

(4) ( deleted 09.05.2002.)

(5) If a person who on the submittal date of the list occupies a position stated in Article 10 of this Law, is proposed as a candidate, then a signed statement indicating that, in the event of being elected, he/she will cease fulfilment of his/her duties in the respective position (service) in one month's time, shall be attached to the candidate list.

(6) If the title of a candidate list is identical to the title of a registered political organization or a registered political organization's registered association, an authorization from the decision-making institution of this political organization or political organization association shall be attached to the candidate list and shall entitle the petitioners to submit the candidate list for the respective council elections.

(7) If a combined candidate list has been submitted by several political organizations which have not united into a registered political organization association, authorizations from all the respective political organization's decision-making institutions shall be attached to the candidate list.

(8) A bank receipt for the payment of the security deposit set in Article 18 of this Law shall be attached to the candidate list of city council and district council members.

Article 18. (1) The election commissions shall only accept lists of candidates, where the submitting persons have paid a security deposit for the respective list into a special deposit account of the council election commission.  The security deposit for the list of candidates for the council election shall be as follows:

50 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents under 1000;

70 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents ranging from 1001 - 2000;

90 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents ranging from 2001 - 5000;

100 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents ranging from 5000 - 20 000;

130 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents ranging from 20 001 - 50 000;

150 lats - for administrative territories of local governments with the number of residents above 50 000.

(2) The security deposit for a candidate list for elections of Riga City Council is 600 lats.

(3) The bank issues the payers of the security deposit a document which indicates who has deposited the money, the title of the candidate list for which the security deposit was paid and the date when the security deposit was paid. The paid security deposit entitles one candidate list to be submitted in one of the council elections. If at least one candidate is elected from the candidate list in the respective council elections, the security deposit shall be returned to the payers; if no one is elected, the Election Commission shall include the security deposit in the respective local budget.

Article 19. (1) The first three signatories of a candidate list shall be considered the petitioners of the respective candidate list, and one of them shall, without special authorization, have the right to be present in the respective city, town, district or pagasts election commission meetings and in the meetings of the constituency election commission formed in this city's, district's or pagasts's administrative territory.

(2) If the candidate list is submitted by a political organization (party) or association of political organizations (parties), after authorization from their decision-making institutions indicate three persons, one of whom without special authorization has the right to submit the list for elections of the respective council,  to be present in the respective city, town, district or pagasts election commission meetings and in the meetings of the constituency election commission formed in this city's, district's or pagasts's administrative territory.

Article 20. (1) The election commission checks each candidate list in the presence of its petitioners. If the election commission finds non- conformity with the regulations of Chapter 4 of this Law, it does not accept the list and documents attached and return them to the petitioner, marking it in the journal for submission of candidate lists.

(2) If the election commission has not accepted the candidate list, it may be submitted repeatedly, if the deadline for submission of candidate lists stipulated by the law has not expired. The day when the election commission has accepted the candidate list ir regarded as the day of submission.

(3) Within its means, the election commission checks that the nominated candidates conform to the requirement of Article 8 and 9 of this Law.

Article 21. The petitioners of the candidate list shall choose its title. The title shall coincide with:

1) the title of the respective political organization (party), if the candidate list is submitted by a political organization (party);

2) the title of the respective association of political organizations (parties), if the candidate list is submitted by an association of political organizations (parties);

3) titles of all the political organizations (parties), if the candidate list is submitted by two or more political organizations (parties).

Article 22. (1) Candidate lists submitted in conformity with the requirements of this Law shall be registered in the election commission of the respective city, town, district or pagasts.

(2)Registered candidate lists cannot be recalled, and amendments can be made only by the election commission that has registered this list by:

1) striking out the candidate if :

a) the candidates does not conform to the requirements of part one and two of  Articles 8 of this Law,

b) the candidate conform to the restrictions of Article 9 of this Law,

c) one and the same person is included in candidate lists of different titles or list of candidates also for other local council elections,

d) the candidate has signed another candidate list as an elector,

e) the candidate has died,

f) candidate is a deputy of the European Parliament and has failed to submit to the election commission documents confirming the fact of his/her resignation from the seat of deputy of the European parliament (laying down the mandate);

2) introducing technical corrections.

(3) The candidate shall be dismissed on the basis of a certificate issued by a respective institution or a court verdict . The fact that the candidate:

1) does not comply with the requirements of the first part of Article 8 of this law - is confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

11) is under the age of 18 - is confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

12) is not filed with the Voters' Register - is confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

2) has not been registered at the place of residence in the administrative territory of the respective local government for at least the recent 10 months before the day of submission of the lists of candidates - confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

21) shall be included on the list of candidates for the election of a different council - confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

22) has been pronounced incapacitated according to the procedure set out by law - confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

3) are fulfilling court sentences in penitentiaries, - confirmed by a certificate from the Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior;

4) have been sentenced previously for intentional, severe crimes and whose sentences have not been expunged or annulled, - confirmed by a certificate from the Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior;

5) have committed a criminal offence in an irresponsible or limited  responsible state, after having committed a crime, have become mentally ill and are incapable of taking conscious action or controlling it, - confirmed by a certificate from the Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior;

6) belong or have belonged to the salaried staff of the USSR, the Latvian SSR or another country's state security, intelligence or counterintelligence services, - confirmed by the judgement of the respective court;

7) after 13 January 1991 have been active in the CPSU (the CP of Latvia), the Working People's International Front of the Latvian SSR, the United Board of Working Bodies, the Organisation of War and Labour Veterans, the All-Latvia Salvation Committee or its regional committees, - confirmed by the judgement of the respective court;

8) (deleted 09.05.2002.);

9) has died, - confirmed by a certificate from the Board of Citizenship and Immigration Affairs;

(4) Institutions indicated in part three of this Article shall submit the information at their disposal in writing at no charge to the election commission within five days since receipt of a claim.

(5) Should the election commission receive information about the nominated candidate having no right to run as a candidate for council election later than the 20th day before the election and should it be unable to produce new ballot slips for the respective list of candidates, the voters shall be issued with the produced ballot slips with the name and surname of this candidate.  The votes passed for the respective person shall not be counted at the vote counting and during calculation of the election results.

Article 23. (1) The registered candidate lists submitted to the city council and district council elections shall be published in an official publication and shall be posted in all polling stations established in the administrative territory of the respective local government.

(2) The registered candidate lists submitted for the district town council and pagasts council elections shall be posted in a visible place near the building of the local government decision-making institution of the town (pagasts) and at all polling stations established in the administrative territory of the respective local government.

(3) Candidate lists shall be posted (published) no later than ten days before election day and they shall indicate each candidate's full name, date of birth, the registered place of residence, education, principal place of employment and position, citizenship of another state, if any.

(4) Pre-election programmes shall be displayed in a place available for the voters.  The information stipulated by this law about each candidate shall be available in each polling station, with the exception of his ID code or voter code.

Article 24. (1) Should by the deadline indicated in Article 15 of this law no list of candidates be registered for the election of the respective local government council, only one list of candidates be registered, or the number of registered candidates fall short of the number of deputies to be elected to the council of the respective local government, within three days the Central Election Council shall adopt a decision about a 10 day extension of the term for submission of candidate lists.  The decision of the Central Election Commission shall be published in the newspaper Latvijas vēstnesis and displayed in a place available for the voters at the council building of the respective local government.  If after the extension of the term the number of candidates should still fall short of the number of council deputies for election, within two weeks the Central Election Commission shall announce a repeated election for the respective council according to the procedure stipulated by this law.

(2) (deleted 11.1.2004.)

(3) If the necessary candidate number is still not achieved, a temporary administration shall be formed in the respective administrative territory in the procedure set by law.

(4) City, town, district and pagasts election commission provides printing of candidate lists on separate ballot slips. On the ballot slip is indicated:

1) the title of the council where the elections take place;

2) the title of candidate list;

3) index numbers, names and surnames of the registered candidates.

(5) Opposite to the surname of the candidate on the candidate list there is a place for making the necessary marks.

(6) No later than five days prior to the election day, city, town, district and pagasts election commissions shall deliver election ballots to all polling stations in an amount which allows each voter to receive one election ballot. Producing and distribution of voting envelopes for city, town, district and pagasts election commissions is provided by the Central Election Commission according to the set procedure. 

(7) Starting from the first day of the advance voting the ballot slips, envelopes and lists of voters shall be in safekeeping in the polling station under the surveillance of the police or the Home Guard [Zemessardze].

Chapter V

ELECTION PROCEDURE

Article 25. (1) On the election day the elections shall take place from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.

(2) Before 7 a.m. chairperson of the election commission or his/her deputy shall, in the presence of the election commission, ensure that the ballot boxes, allotted for depositing election ballots, are empty. The ballot boxes shall then be sealed.

(3) The commission of the polling station shall ensure the following at the entrance to the polling room:

1) verification whether the citizens who arrive are voters of this polling station;

2) make available an alphabetical list of voters of this polling station, indicating the name, surname, birth date and the number of order on the list of voters.

(4) (deleted 11.11.2004.)

Article 26. (1) Should the voter be unable to vote on the day of the election he/she may cast the vote within three days prior to the general election day at the polling station where he/she is registered on the lists of voters. The opening hours of the polling station in the days of advance voting shall be: on Wednesday from 17.00 to 20.00; on Thursday from 9.00 to 12.00; on Friday from 10.00 to 16.00.  During those periods the commission of the polling station shall be staffed by no less than four members.  The announcement about the location of the polling station and its working hours shall be displayed at the local government building and the polling stations established on the administrative territory of the respective local government.

(2) The voters who vote before the date of the general election shall post their ballot slip in an envelope in a separate sealed ballot box.  The commission of the polling station shall make a mark in the list of voters that the voter has participated in advance voting.

Article 27. Except form cases stipulated in Article 33 of this Law each voter may only vote personally.

Article 28. (1) The elections shall take place by secret vote. Voters shall vote in the polling station where he/she is registered on the voting list by producing documents by producing a personal identity document valid in the Republic of Latvia.

(2) On the premises of the polling station a member of the election committee, previously verifying that information about the person has been included on the list of voters and that the list bears no mark about the participation of this person in the respective election, shall make a mark on the list of voters about participation of a voter in the election.  The voter shall sign the list of voters.

(3) Every voter shall receive ballot slips of all the candidate lists registered at the electoral district and a special enveloped sealed at the respective polling station commission. The voter shall insert in the envelope that ballot slip that corresponds to the candidate list the voter votes for. Dispensation of separate ballot slips is prohibited.

(4) (deleted 06.12.1996.)

(5) The election commission members are forbidden to campaign for or against any candidates or candidate lists.

Article 29. (1) A separate room or compartment should be arranged inside the polling station for the voter to insert one ballot slip into the envelope and seal it in privacy. The voter may choose to put a "+" mark opposite the surname of any candidate, to cross out a candidate's name or surname or to leave the ballot slip unmarked.

(2) The "+" mark opposite the surname of a candidate indicates special support given to the candidate by this voter. If the voter does not support a candidate included in the ballot slip, he/she may cross out the name or the surname of this candidate. If only the name and surname of a candidate is crossed out, it is regarded as the voter does not support this candidate. The voter may also insert an unaltered (unmarked) ballot slip into the envelope.

(3) The voter shall personally insert the sealed envelope into the ballot box in the presence of a member of the election commission.

(4) (deleted 06.12.1996.)

(5) If the voter has damaged the ballot slip or envelope before inserting the ballot slip in the envelope, he/she receives a new envelope and ballot slips of all the candidate lists registered at the respective electoral district. 

Article 30. (deleted 06.11.1996.)

Article 31. (deleted 06.11.1996.)

Article 32. (1) If, for health reasons, an individual voter cannot arrive at the polling station, the election commission, upon the voter's or person's authorized by him/her  written request, registered in a special journal, organize voting where the voter is located, securing  voting in secrecy. Voting may be observed by authorized observers.

(2)Voting at the place of location is organized also for caregivers of the voters referred to in part one of this Article upon a timely written request for voting at the place of location.

(3) For other voters voting outside the voting premises is not acceptable.

(4) Voting shall take place on the location of the voter only in case if the voter is located in the territory of the polling station where information about him is included on the list of voters.

(5) The election commission continues to accept written requests for voting at the place of location of voters. Requests received after 12 a.m. are discharged by the election commission in case it is possible to arrive at the place of location of the voter until 10 p.m.

(6) Voters who in accordance with part one and two of this Article vote at their place of location are registered in a separate list of voters and voters shall drop the election ballot in a separate ballot box.

(7) Data about voting envelopes issued and remaining ( including spoilt envelopes ) from voting at the place of location of voters are registered in the minutes about the course of the election.

(8) Voting for criminal case suspects, accused or persons under trial who are subject to imprisonment as a security measure, shall be organized on the location of these individuals according to the procedure appointed in the first and fourth parts of this article.

Article 33. If the voter, due to a physical disability, cannot vote him/herself, then in presence of the voter and in conformity with the voter's oral specifications, marks shall be made on the election ballot by the voter's family member or any other person that the voter trusts. The person who makes the marks shall not be a member of the respective election commission.

Article 34. During the election period the premises of the polling station shall be supervised by the chairman of the election commission.  He/she shall prevent any limitation of freedom of vote, disturbance of order or canvassing from occurring on the premises of the polling station or any closer than 50 m from the entrance of the polling station entrance.

Article 35. (1) From the opening of the polling station the secretary of the polling station, or, during his absence, a member of the commission authorised by the commission chairman of the polling station shall be writing minutes about the course of the election according to the procedure set out by the Central Election Commission.

(2) Without disturbance to the work of the polling station, no more than two authorised observers from each union of voters, political organisation (parties) or union of political organisations (party) that has submitted a list of candidates for the election of the respective council as well as members of the election commission of the respective region (republican city) and  Central Election Commission and authorised persons of these committees, representatives of the election commissions of the respective city, district or pagasts, media representatives, shall be allowed to observe the course of the election.  A deputy candidate of the respective council cannot be an authorised observer.

(3) Voters may submit complaints about the procedure of the election to the chairman of the election commission and they shall be filed with the minutes on the course of the election.  Any complaint about the course of the election shall be immediately examined and a reply shall be given to the person submitting the complaint, and the content of the complaint shall be filed with the minutes about the course of the election.

Article 36. Election ballots may be submitted after 10 p.m. on the election day only by those voters who entered the polling station before 10 p.m. After this, the polling station is locked, the votes are counted and the election results are calculated.

Chapter VI

COUNTING OF VOTES AND CALCULATION OF ELECTION RESULTS

Article 37. (1) Vote counting shall start immediately after the closing of the polling station.  The counting shall take place at an open meeting of the commission of the district.

(2) Without disturbance to the work of the committee, no more than two authorised observers from each union of voters, political organisation (party) or union of political organisations (parties) that has submitted a list of candidates for the election of the respective council as well as members of the election commission of the respective district and Central Election Commission and authorised persons of these committees, representatives of election commissions of the respective city, district or pagasts, media representatives shall be allowed to be present at the meeting.  After closing of the vote counting the above persons shall be entitled to familiarisation with the minutes of vote counting.

Article 38. (1) Right after closing the polling station according to the procedure stipulated by the Central Election Commission the commission of the polling station shall seal the ballot boxes, close the voters' lists and arrange the room for vote counting.  The unused election materials shall be packaged and placed in a manner not disturbing the counting of votes. 

(2) The commission of the polling station shall write minutes of vote counting in three copies.  The vote counting minutes shall consist of two parts:

1) the preliminary vote counting (hereinafter - part one of the vote counting minutes);

2) the final results of vote counting (hereinafter - part two of the vote counting).

(3) Prior to opening of the ballot boxes, the commission of the polling station shall register information about the received, used and unused ballot slip envelopes, the number of voters in the polling station and in voter locations in part one of the vote counting minutes.  The stamped ballot slip envelopes which have not been used at the election shall be made invalid.

(4) After writing the information indicated in the second part of this Article in the first part of the vote counting minutes and after packaging of the materials not used during vote counting and of the ballot slip envelopes, the ballot boxes shall be opened.  The ballot boxes shall be opened one by one and the envelopes shall be counted.

(5) The ballot slip envelopes taken out of the ballot box shall be sorted into valid and invalid ballot slip envelopes.

(6) Damaged envelope ballot slips and the ballot slip envelopes which are not sealed with the stamp of the respective polling station commission.

(7) The invalid ballot slip envelopes shall be added and packaged without opening, labelling the package showing that the content is invalid ballot slip envelopes and their number.  The total of invalid ballot slip envelopes shall be written in the first part of vote counting minutes.

(8) The number of valid ballot slip envelopes shall be equal to the respective number of voters or less than it.

(9) Should there be ballot slips without ballot slip envelopes in the ballot box, they shall be made invalid and packaged according to the procedure set out by the Central Election Commission.

Article 39. (1) After the valid ballot slip envelopes are added up they shall be opened, together with identifying their content:

1) one ballot slip from the respective constituency;

2) more than one slip in the envelope;

3) a slip from another constituency in the envelope;

4) a damaged ballot slip in the envelope;

5) no ballot slip in the envelope.

(2) The envelopes with one ballot slip from the respective constituency shall not be kept after the ballot slips are removed.  The ballot slips from these envelopes shall be put together for counting.

(3) The empty ballot slip envelopes and ballot slip envelopes containing more than one ballot slip or a damaged ballot slip or a ballot slip from a different constituency shall be put separately together with their content.

Article 40.  (1) After opening all the valid ballot slip envelopes the commission of the polling station shall decide about the validity of the ballot slips contained in the ballot slip envelopes with several ballot slips, damaged ballot slips and ballot slips from different constituencies.

(2) Should a ballot slip envelope contain several completely identical ballot slips, one of them shall be proclaimed valid and added for counting to the valid ballot slips, the rest shall be proclaimed invalid.

(3) Envelopes with damaged ballot slips and empty ballot slips shall be regarded as ballot slip envelopes without valid ballot slips.

(4) Should a ballot slip envelope contain more than one ballot slip and the ballot slips differ in content (and also by the made notes), it shall be proclaimed a ballot slip envelope without a valid ballot slip.

(5) Any differences on the validity of ballot slip envelopes shall be decided by majority of votes of the polling station commission.  Should the distribution of votes be equal, the vote of the chairman of the commission shall be decisive.

(6) The valid ballot slips shall be grouped according to the names of the candidate lists according to the procedure set out by the Central Election Commission.  Subsequently the votes passed for each list of candidates shall be added up.

(7) The number of votes passed for each candidate shall be registered in the vote counting minutes.  The information about the number of votes passed for each list of candidates shall be delivered according to the procedure set out by the Central Election Committee.

Article 40.1 (1) After completion of the preliminary vote counting the commission of the polling station shall sign the first part of the vote counting minutes.  The election commission may announce a break later.  Should a break be announced, the following shall be packaged together before the break:

1) all the passed valid ballot slips;

2) all the ballot slip envelopes with invalid ballot slips;

3) one copy of the vote counting minutes

4) voters' lists.

(2) The package shall be sealed with the stamp of the polling station commission.  The present authorised observers shall also be entitled to seal the package with their stamps or sign on it, and a respective note shall be entered in the minutes on the course of the election.

(3) during the break the packaged election materials shall be left under the supervision of the police or the Home Guard.

(4) Resuming the work after the break the polling station commission shall repeatedly count the ballot slips for each list in an open meeting according to the procedure set out by the Central Election Commission.

Article 40.2 (1) The received number of votes per each candidate shall be appointed as follows:

1) the ballot slips of each list shall be divided in two groups  - the amended and unamended ballot slips.  The following ballot slips shall be regarded to be amended - where the voter has marked a "+" against the surname of a candidate in the appropriate place or crossed off the name or the surname of the candidate.  Other ballot slips shall be regarded to be unamended;

2) the amended election slips shall be added up for each candidate, where:

a) a "+" mark has been made against his surname in the appropriate place;

b) his name or surname has been crossed out;

c) no marks have been made.

(2) The polling station commission shall record the final results of vote counting in the second part of the vote counting minutes.

(3) The polling station commission shall resolve any differences about the marks made by voters in the ballot slips by majority of votes.  Should the votes be distributed evenly, the vote of the chairman of the polling station commission shall be decisive.

Article 40.3 After vote counting and finalising the minutes of vote counting all the passed valid ballot slips and invalid ballot slips together with the ballot slip envelopes, the unused stamped and invalid ballot slip envelopes and one copy of the polling station commission vote counting minutes shall be packaged together and sealed off.  The participating authorised representatives shall also be entitled to sealing this package with their seals or sign the package, making a respective mark in the protocol on the course of the election.  The unused unsealed ballot slip envelopes shall be packaged separately.  Subsequently the polling station shall forward the election materials to the city, district or pagasts election commission according to the procedure stipulated by the Central Election Commission.

Article 41. (1) The city, town, district and pagasts election commissions shall compile the election results in conformity with the election records received from the polling station election commissions.

(2) Those lists of candidates under a single title which have received fewer than five per cent of the total number of passed votes shall not take part in the distribution of seats of deputies in the Riga City Council.  The total number of valid ballot slip envelopes shall be regarded to be the total number of passed votes (the total of voters participating at the election).

(3) The procedure to be applied in allocating the seats in the council among the lists of candidates shall be the following:

1) the valid ballot slips cast for each list of candidates in each constituency shall be counted;

2) the number of ballot slips cast for each list of candidates shall be divided by odd numbers - 1, 3, 5, 7 - and so forth, until the number of the divisions equals the number of candidates nominated on the list;

3) all the division results concerning all the lists of candidates in a constituency shall be numbered in descending order;

4) the lists of candidates that correspond to the highest division results shall win seats.

(4) If the division result, the order number of which is equal to the number of seats, coincides with one or several consecutive division results, the list of candidates that has received the largest number of votes wins the seat.

(5) If these candidate lists has an equal number of votes, a seat is won by the candidate list that was first submitted.

(6) The names of the candidates nominated on each list shall be ranked according to the number of votes they have received. The number of votes cast for each candidate shall be equal to the number of votes cast for the list in which his/her name has been included, minus the number of ballot slips on which the name or surname of this candidate has been crossed out plus the number of all the ballot slips on which the voters have made a "+" mark opposite the candidate’s surname. If two or more candidates on the same list have received an equal number of votes, they shall be ranked in the same order as on the originally submitted list.

(7) The candidates who have received the largest number of votes shall be regarded as elected, whereas the others shall remain as candidates, and their names shall be ranked in the order according to the number of votes cast for them.

Article 42. (deleted 07.12.1996.)

Article 43. (1) If an elected deputy of the council has died, given up his/her mandate, or declined it for some other reason, he/she shall be replaced by the candidate ranked next on the same list of candidates.

(2) If for any reason referred to in part one of this Article a list is short of candidates, then the list of candidates which will win a seat shall be determined by the Central; Election Commission according to the procedure set by part two of Article 41 of this Law.

Article 44. (1) Election results shall be approved by the decision of the respective city, town, district or pagasts election commission and, together with the records of the meetings of the election commissions, the results are immediately sent to the Central Election Commission. The remaining election materials shall be kept in accordance with the procedure set by the Central Election Commission.

(2) All the petitioners of candidate lists within three days after elections have the right to to acquaint themselves  with lists of voters, and within three days after declaring of election results – with records of the meetings of the election commission.

(3) The election results of city councils shall be published in an official publication no later than seven days after the elections.

(4) The election results of town, district and pagasts councils shall be posted in a visible place near the building of the city or pagasts council no later than three days after the elections.

Article 45. The city, town, district or pagasts election commission chairperson shall summon the newly-elected Council members to the first council meeting no later than ten days after the election results have been announced.

Chapter VII

CONCLUDING REGULATIONS

Article 46. (1) Within seven days after the adoption of election commission decisions, the petitioners of candidate lists and also the candidates themselves may appeal these decisions in court according to the procedure stipulated by the Law on Administrative Process. The court shall review the complaint within three days after it has been submitted.

(2) If after reviewing a complaint, the court determines that there have been violations of the Law during the elections which have affected the distribution of the corresponding council member seats among the political organizations, political organization associations and election associations, then, with its decision, the court shall annul the decision of the respective city, district or pagasts election commission on validation of the Council election results. In this case, the Central Election Commission shall announce the repeat of the election of the respective council in the procedure set by law.

Article 47. Persons, who have hindered citizens from participation in the elections or from conducting campaigns through violent means, threats, bribery or any other illegal means, and election commission members, state or political organization officials who have forged election documents, deliberately counted the ballots incorrectly, avoided to follow the secrecy of voting or otherwise violated this Law, shall be held responsible as prescribed by law.

Article 48. Council member candidates who have deliberately given false information in the declaration mentioned in Article 17, Paragraph 1, subsection 2 of this Law shall be held responsible in accordance with Article 272 of Latvia's Criminal Code and in the event of election, shall have their mandate annulled in the respective Council.

Article 49. (1) State and local government establishments, enterprises and organizations have an obligation to provide election commissions with the rooms necessary for their work, free of charge.

(2) State and local government establishments, enterprises and organizations have an obligation to provide political organizations, political organization associations and electoral associations with the premises for the organization of pre-election events for a fee which covers the practical expenses for utilizing this space.

Article 50. Expenses associated with the preparation and course of the elections are covered by the budget of the corresponding local government.

Article 51. (1) It shall be prohibited to finance the election campaigns of voters' unions from the state budget and state and local government company funds. 

(2) It shall be prohibited to finance the election campaign of voters' unions from anonymous donations.

(3) Political organisations (parties), their unions and voters unions shall be prohibited to organise, establish and develop contractual relations that attract or could eventually attract financial or other material liabilities in relation to the respective party of the agreement or a third party.

TRANSITIONAL REGULATIONS

1. (deleted 06.11.1996.)

2. (deleted 06.11.1996.)

3. Verification whether the person registered as a candidate has not violated provisions of point 6 Article 9 of this Law shall be accomplished according to the procedure set by the Law on preservation and utilization of documents and collaboration with the USSR state security services.

4. (deleted 06.11.1996.)

5. (deleted 06.04.2000.)

6. If two or more administrative territories are unified, the elected councils in these unified administrative territories until the next elections comprise a unified decision- making institution - the council. 

7. Provision of this Law are related to the elections of the unified decision-making institution of the unified administrative territories - the council. 

8. The district councils elected on 29 May 1994 shall continue to function as stipulated by laws and regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, until the municipality is reorganized according to the procedure stipulated by the laws, but not later than until 31 December 1997.

9. The Cabinet of Ministers shall submit to the Saeima draft laws on reorganization of the district municipality by 1 July 1997.

10. By 31 December 2004 the Cabinet of Ministers shall submit to the Saeima draft laws on required amendments to laws to ensure the implementation of provisions of Article 51 of this law.

An Informative Reference to European Union Directive

Legal regulations have been included in the law, which are arising from the Council Directive 1994/80/EC of 19 December laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals.

This Law takes effect at the moment of its proclamation.

This Law has been adopted in the Saeima on January 13, 1994.

The President of State G.ULMANIS

Rīga, January 25, 1994

For purposes of interpretation, the original Latvian text is to be regarded as official.

* the smallest unit of an administrative and territorial division in the rural areas of Latvia.