Constitution (1992, as amended 2007) (excerpts)

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA

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Chapter II
The Saeima1

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22. Sittings of the Saeima shall be public. The Saeima may decide by a majority vote of not less than two-thirds of the members present to sit in closed session, if so requested by ten members of the Saeima, or by the President, the Prime Minister, or a Minister.

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24. The Saeima shall make decisions by an absolute majority of votes of the members present at the sitting, except in cases specifically set out in the Constitution.

25. The Saeima shall establish committees and determine the number of members and their duties. Committees have the right to require of individual Ministers or local government authorities information and explanations necessary for the work of the committees, and the right to invite to their sittings responsible representatives from the relevant ministries or local government authorities to furnish explanations. Committees may also carry on their work between sessions of the Saeima.

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Chapter III
The President

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47. The President has the right to initiate legislation.

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Chapter IV
The Cabinet

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61. The Cabinet shall deliberate draft laws prepared by individual ministries as well as matters which pertain to the activities of more than one ministry, and issues of State policy raised by individual members of Cabinet.

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63. Ministers, even if they are not members of the Saeima, and responsible government officials authorised by a Minister, have the right to attend sittings of the Saeima and its committees and to submit additions and amendments to draft laws.

Chapter V
Legislation

64. The Saeima, and also the people, have the right to legislate, in accordance with the procedures, and to the extent, provided for by this Constitution.

65. Draft laws may be submitted to the Saeima by the President, the Cabinet or committees of the Saeima, by not less than five members of the Saeima, or, in accordance with the procedures and in the cases provided for in this Constitution, by one-tenth of the electorate.

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69. The President shall proclaim laws passed by the Saeima not earlier than the tenth day and not later than the twenty-first day after the law has been adopted. A law shall come into force fourteen days after its proclamation unless a different term has been specified in the law.

70. The President shall proclaim adopted laws in the following manner:

“The Saeima (that is, the People) has adopted and the President has proclaimed the following law: (text of the law).”

71. Within ten days of the adoption of a law by the Saeima, the President, by means of a written and reasoned request to the Chairperson of the Saeima, may require that a law be reconsidered. If the Saeima does not amend the law, the President then may not raise objections a second time.

72. The President has the right to suspend the proclamation of a law for a period of two months. The President shall suspend the proclamation of a law if so requested by not less than one-third of the members of the Saeima. This right may be exercised by the President, or by one-third of the members of the Saeima, within ten days of the adoption of the law by the Saeima. The law thus suspended shall be put to a national referendum if so requested by not less than one-tenth of the electorate. If no such request is received during the aforementioned two-month period, the law shall then be proclaimed after the expiration of such period. A national referendum shall not take place, however, if the Saeima again votes on the law and not less than three-quarters of all members of the Saeima vote for the adoption of the law.

73. The Budget and laws concerning loans, taxes, customs duties, railroad tariffs, military conscription, declaration and commencement of war, peace treaties, declaration of a state of emergency and its termination, mobilisation and demobilisation, as well as agreements with other nations may not be submitted to national referendum.

74. A law adopted by the Saeima and suspended pursuant to the procedures specified in Article seventy-two shall be repealed by national referendum if the number of voters is at least half of the number of electors as participated in the previous Saeima election and if the majority has voted for repeal of the law.

75. Should the Saeima, by not less than a two thirds majority vote, determine a law to be urgent, the President may not request reconsideration of such law, it may not be submitted to national referendum, and the adopted law shall be proclaimed no later than the third day after the President has received it.

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