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Latvia Government

    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

    Data code: LG

    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: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)

    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 Guntis ULMANIS (since 7 July 1993)
    head of government: Prime Minister Vilis KRISTOPANS (since 21 November 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament
    elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term (amended from a three-year term on 4 December 1997); election last held 18 June 1996 (next to be held by NA June/July 1999); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Guntis ULMANIS elected president in the first round of balloting; percent of parliamentary vote—Guntis ULMANIS 53%, Ilga KREITUSE 25%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms—amended from three-year term on 4 December 1997)
    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%, TVB/LNNK 14%, Social Democrats 13%, New Party 8%; seats by party—People's Party 24, LC 21, TSP 16, TVB/LNNK 17, Social Democrats 14, New Party 8

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges' appointments are confirmed by Parliament

    Political parties and leaders: New Party [Raimonds PAULS]; People's Party [Andris SKELE]; Democratic Party "Saimnieks" or DPS [Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman]; Latvia's Way or LC [Andrei PANTELEJEVS]; For Fatherland and Freedom or TVB [Maris GRINBLATS], merged with LNNK; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [Alberis KAULS]; Latvian National Conservative Party or LNNK [Andrejs KRASTINS]; Green Party or LZP [Olegs BATAREVSK]; Latvian Farmers Union or LZS [Andris ROZENTALS]; Christian Democrat Union or LKDS [Talavs JUNDZIS]; National Harmony Party or TSP [Janis JURKANS]; Latvian Socialist Party or LSP [Sergejs DIAMANIS]; Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Political Association of the Underprivileged or MPA [B. PELSE, V. DIMANTS, J. KALNINS]; Latvian Democratic Labor Party or LDDP [J. BOJARS]; Party of Russian Citizens or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV]; Christian People's Party or KTP (formerly People's Front of Latvia or LTF) [Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [Edvins KIDE]; Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; "Our Land" or MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party or LSDSP [Janis DINEVICS]; Party for the Defense of Latvia's Defrauded People [leader NA]; Latvian Independence Party or LNP [Valdis KONOVALOVS]; Association of Latvian Social Democrats [Juris BOJARS, Janis ADAMSONS]

    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 (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ojars Eriks KALNINS
    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)