Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State
Language Centre) with amending laws of:
21 March 1933 [shall come
into force from 21 March 1933];
27 January 1994 [shall come into force from 26 February
5 June 1996 [shall come into force from 26 June
4 December 1997 [shall come into force from 31 December
15 October 1998 [shall come into force from 6 November
30 April 2002 [shall come into force from 24 May
8 May 2003 [shall come into force from 5 June
23 September 2004 [shall come into force from 21 October
15 December 2005 [shall come into force from 17 January
3 May 2007 [shall come into force from 31 May
8 April 2009 [shall come into force from 2 November
19 September 2013 [shall come into force from 18 October
19 June 2014 [shall come into force from 22 July
19 May 2016 [shall come into force from 14 June
4 October 2018 [shall come into force from 1 January
If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the
date of the amending law appears in square brackets at
the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or
clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears
in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph
Adopted by the Constitutional Assembly
in a joint meeting on 15 February 1922
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC
The State of Latvia, proclaimed on 18 November 1918, has been
established by uniting historical Latvian lands and on the basis
of the unwavering will of the Latvian nation to have its own
State and its inalienable right of self-determination in order to
guarantee the existence and development of the Latvian nation,
its language and culture throughout the centuries, to ensure
freedom and promote welfare of the people of Latvia and each
The people of Latvia won their State in the War of Liberation.
They consolidated the system of government and adopted the
Constitution in a freely elected Constitutional Assembly.
The people of Latvia did not recognise the occupation regimes,
resisted them and regained their freedom by restoring national
independence on 4 May 1990 on the basis of continuity of the
State. They honour their freedom fighters, commemorate victims of
foreign powers, condemn the Communist and Nazi totalitarian
regimes and their crimes.
Latvia as democratic, socially responsible and national state
is based on the rule of law and on respect for human dignity and
freedom; it recognises and protects fundamental human rights and
respects ethnic minorities. The people of Latvia protect their
sovereignty, national independence, territory, territorial
integrity and democratic system of government of the State of
Since ancient times, the identity of Latvia in the European
cultural space has been shaped by Latvian and Liv traditions,
Latvian folk wisdom, the Latvian language, universal human and
Christian values. Loyalty to Latvia, the Latvian language as the
only official language, freedom, equality, solidarity, justice,
honesty, work ethic and family are the foundations of a cohesive
society. Each individual takes care of oneself, one's relatives
and the common good of society by acting responsibly toward other
people, future generations, the environment and nature.
While acknowledging its equal status in the international
community, Latvia protects its national interests and promotes
sustainable and democratic development of a united Europe and the
God, bless Latvia!
[19 June 2014]
1. Latvia is an independent democratic republic.
2. The sovereign power of the State of Latvia is vested
in the people of Latvia.
3. The territory of the State of Latvia, within the
borders established by international agreements, consists of
Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale.
4. The Latvian language is the official language in the
Republic of Latvia. The national flag of Latvia shall be red with
a band of white.
[15 October 1998]
The Saeima [Parliament of the Republic of Latvia]
5. The Saeima shall be composed of one hundred
representatives of the people.
6. The Saeima shall be elected in general, equal
and direct elections, and by secret ballot based on proportional
7. In the division of Latvia into separate electoral
districts, provision for the number of members of the
Saeima to be elected from each district shall be
proportional to the number of electors in each district.
8. All citizens of Latvia who enjoy full rights of
citizenship and, who on election day have attained eighteen years
of age shall be entitled to vote.
[27 January 1994]
9. Any citizen of Latvia, who enjoys full rights of
citizenship and, who is more than twenty-one years of age on the
first day of elections may be elected to the Saeima.
10. The Saeima shall be elected for a term of
[4 December 1997]
11. Elections for the Saeima shall be held on
the first Saturday in October.
[4 December 1997]
12. The newly elected Saeima shall hold its
first sitting on the first Tuesday in November, when the mandate
of the previous Saeima shall expire.
13. Should elections for the Saeima, by reason
of the dissolution of the previous Saeima, be held at
another time of the year, the Saeima so elected shall
convene not later than one month after its election, and its
mandate shall expire upon the convening of the new Saeima
on the first Tuesday in November following the elapse of three
years after such election.
[4 December 1997]
14. Not less than one tenth of electors has the right
to initiate a national referendum regarding recalling of the
Saeima. If the majority of voters and at least two thirds
of the number of the voters who participated in the last
elections of the Saeima vote in the national referendum
regarding recalling of the Saeima, then the Saeima
shall be deemed recalled. The right to initiate a national
referendum regarding recalling of the Saeima may not be
exercised one year after the convening of the Saeima and
one year before the end of the term of office of the
Saeima, during the last six months of the term of office
of the President, as well as earlier than six months after the
previous national referendum regarding recalling of the
The electors may not recall any individual member of the
[8 April 2009]
15. The Saeima shall hold its sittings in Rīga,
and only in extraordinary circumstances may it convene
16. The Saeima shall elect a Presidium that
shall be composed of a Chairperson, two Deputies and Secretaries.
The Presidium shall function continuously during the mandate of
17. The first sitting of the newly elected
Saeima shall be opened by the Chairperson of the preceding
Saeima or by another member of the Presidium at the
direction of the Presidium.
18. The Saeima itself shall review the
qualifications of its members.
A person elected to the Saeima shall acquire the
mandate of a Member of the Saeima if such person gives the
following solemn promise:
"I, upon assuming the duties of a Member of the Saeima,
before the people of Latvia, do swear (solemnly promise) to be
loyal to Latvia, to strengthen its sovereignty and the Latvian
language as the only official language, to defend Latvia as an
independent and democratic State, and to fulfil my duties
honestly and conscientiously. I undertake to observe the
Constitution and laws of Latvia."
[30 April 2002]
19. The Presidium shall convene sessions of the
Saeima and schedule regular and extraordinary
20. The Presidium shall convene sittings of the
Saeima if requested by the President, the Prime Minister,
or not less than one third of the members of the
21. The Saeima shall establish rules of order to
provide for its internal operations and order. The working
language of the Saeima is the Latvian language.
[30 April 2002]
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.
23. Sittings of the Saeima may take place if at
least half of the members of the Saeima participate
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
26. The Saeima shall appoint parliamentary
investigatory committees for specified matters if not less than
one-third of its members request it.
27. The Saeima shall have the right to submit to
the Prime Minister or to an individual Minister requests and
questions which either they, or a responsible government official
duly authorised by them, must answer. The Prime Minister or any
Minister shall furnish the relevant documents and enactments
requested by the Saeima or by any of its committees.
28. Members of the Saeima may not be called to
account by any judicial, administrative or disciplinary process
in connection with their voting or their views as expressed
during the execution of their duties. Court proceedings may be
brought against members of the Saeima if they, albeit in
the course of performing parliamentary duties, disseminate:
1) defamatory statements which they know to be false, or
2) defamatory statements about private or family life.
29. Members of the Saeima shall not be arrested,
nor shall their premises be searched, nor shall their personal
liberty be restricted in any way without the consent of the
Saeima. Members of the Saeima may be arrested if
apprehended in the act of committing a crime. The Presidium shall
be notified within twenty-four hours of the arrest of any member
of the Saeima; the Presidium shall raise the matter at the
next sitting of the Saeima for decision as to whether the
member shall continue to be held in detention or be released.
When the Saeima is not in session, pending the opening of
a session, the Presidium shall decide whether the member of the
Saeima shall remain in detention.
30. Without the consent of the Saeima, criminal
prosecution may not be commenced against its member.
[19 May 2016]
31. Members of the Saeima have the right to
refuse to give evidence:
1) concerning persons who have entrusted to them, as
representatives of the people, certain facts or information;
2) concerning persons to whom they, as representatives of the
people, have entrusted certain facts or information; or
3) concerning such facts or information itself.
32. Members of the Saeima may not, either
personally or in the name of another person, receive government
contracts or concessions. The provisions of this Article shall
apply to Ministers even if they are not members of the
33. The remuneration of members of the Saeima
shall be from state funds.
34. No person may be called to account for reporting
the sittings of the Saeima or its committees if such
reports correspond to fact. Information about closed sessions of
either the Saeima or its committees may only be disclosed
with the permission of the Presidium of the Saeima or the
35. The Saeima shall elect the President for a
term of four years.
[4 December 1997]
36. The President shall be elected by open ballot with
a majority of the votes of not less than fifty-one members of the
[4 October 2018]
37. Any person who enjoys full rights of citizenship
and who has attained the age of forty years may be elected
President. A person with dual citizenship may not be elected
[4 December 1997]
38. The office of the President shall not be held
concurrently with any other office. If the person elected as
President is a member of the Saeima, he or she shall
resign his or her mandate as a member of the Saeima.
39. The same person shall not hold office as President
for more than eight consecutive years.
[4 December 1997]
40. The President, upon taking up the duties of office,
at a sitting of the Saeima, shall take the following
solemn oath: "I swear that all of my work will be dedicated to
the welfare of the people of Latvia. I will do everything in my
power to promote the prosperity of the Republic of Latvia and all
who live here. I will hold sacred and will observe the
Constitution of Latvia and the laws of the State. I will act
justly towards all and will fulfil my duties
[3 May 2007]
41. The President shall represent the State in
international relations, appoint the diplomatic representatives
of Latvia, and also receive diplomatic representatives of other
states. The President shall implement the decisions of the
Saeima concerning the ratification of international
42. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of
the armed forces of Latvia. During wartime, the President shall
appoint a Supreme Commander.
43. The President shall declare war on the basis of a
decision of the Saeima.
44. The President has the right to take whatever steps
are necessary for the military defence of the State should
another state declare war on Latvia or an enemy invade its
borders. Concurrently and without delay, the President shall
convene the Saeima, which shall decide as to the
declaration and commencement of war.
45. The President has the right to grant clemency to
criminals against whom judgment of the court has come into legal
effect. The extent of, and procedures for, the utilisation of
this right shall be set out in a specific law. The Saeima
[4 December 1997]
46. The President has the right to convene and to
preside over extraordinary meetings of the Cabinet and to
determine the agenda of such meetings.
47. The President has the right to initiate
48. The President shall be entitled to propose the
dissolution of the Saeima. Following this proposal, a
national referendum shall be held. If in the referendum more than
half of the votes are cast in favour of dissolution, the
Saeima shall be considered dissolved, new elections
called, and such elections held no later than two months after
the date of the dissolution of the Saeima.
49. If the Saeima has been dissolved or
recalled, the mandate of the members of the Saeima shall
continue to be in effect until the convening of the newly elected
Saeima, but the former Saeima may only hold
sittings upon the request of the President. The President shall
determine the agenda of such sittings of the Saeima. New
elections shall take place not earlier than one month and not
later than two months after recalling of the Saeima.
[8 April 2009]
50. If in the referendum more than half of the votes
are cast against the dissolution of the Saeima, then the
President shall be deemed to be removed from office, and the
Saeima shall elect a new President to serve for the
remaining term of office of the President so removed.
51. Upon the proposal of not less than half of all of
the members of the Saeima, the Saeima may decide,
in closed session and with a majority vote of not less than
two-thirds of all of its members, to remove the President from
office. Following such a decision, the Saeima shall elect
a new President without delay.
52. If the President resigns from office, dies or is
removed from office before their term has ended, the Chairperson
of the Saeima shall assume the duties of the President
until the Saeima has elected a new President. Similarly,
the Chairperson of the Saeima shall assume the duties of
the President if the latter is away from Latvia or for any other
reason unable to fulfil the duties of office.
53. Political responsibility for the fulfilment of
presidential duties shall not be borne by the President. All
orders of the President shall be jointly signed by the Prime
Minister or by the appropriate Minister, who shall thereby assume
full responsibility for such orders except in the cases specified
in Articles forty-eight and fifty-six.
54. The President may be subject to criminal liability
if the Saeima consents thereto by a majority vote of not
less than two-thirds.
55. The Cabinet shall be composed of the Prime Minister
and the Ministers chosen by the Prime Minister.
56. The Cabinet shall be formed by the person who has
been invited by the President to do so.
57. The number of ministries and the scope of their
responsibilities, as well as the relations between State
institutions, shall be as provided for by law.
58. The administrative institutions of the State shall
be under the authority of the Cabinet.
59. In order to fulfil their duties, the Prime Minister
and other Ministers must have the confidence of the Saeima
and they shall be accountable to the Saeima for their
actions. If the Saeima expresses no confidence in the
Prime Minister, the entire Cabinet shall resign. If there is an
expression of no confidence in an individual Minister, then the
Minister shall resign and another person shall be invited to
replace them by the Prime Minister.
60. Meetings of the Cabinet shall be chaired by the
Prime Minister, and in the absence of the Prime Minister, by a
Minister authorised to do so by the Prime Minister.
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.
62. If the State is threatened by an external enemy, or
if an internal insurrection which endangers the existing
political system arises or threatens to arise in the State or in
any part of the State, the Cabinet has the right to proclaim a
state of emergency and shall inform the Presidium within
twenty-four hours and the Presidium shall, without delay, present
such decision of the Cabinet to the Saeima.
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.
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.
66. Annually, before the commencement of each financial
year, the Saeima shall determine the State Revenues and
Expenditures Budget, the draft of which shall be submitted to the
Saeima by the Cabinet.
If the Saeima makes a decision that involves
expenditures not included in the Budget, then this decision must
also allocate funds to cover such expenditures.
After the end of the budgetary year, the Cabinet shall submit
an accounting of budgetary expenditures for the approval of the
67. The Saeima shall determine the size of the
armed forces of the State during peacetime.
68. All international agreements, which settle matters
that may be decided by the legislative process, shall require
ratification by the Saeima.
Upon entering into international agreements, Latvia, with the
purpose of strengthening democracy, may delegate a part of its
State institution competencies to international institutions. The
Saeima may ratify international agreements in which a part
of State institution competencies are delegated to international
institutions in sittings in which at least two-thirds of the
members of the Saeima participate, and a two-thirds
majority vote of the members present is necessary for
Membership of Latvia in the European Union shall be decided by
a national referendum, which is proposed by the
Substantial changes in the terms regarding the membership of
Latvia in the European Union shall be decided by a national
referendum if such referendum is requested by at least one-half
of the members of the Saeima.
[8 May 2003]
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.
[23 September 2004]
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
[23 September 2004]
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
[23 September 2004]
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.
[21 March 1933]
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
76. The Saeima may amend the Constitution in
sittings at which at least two-thirds of the members of the
Saeima participate. The amendments shall be passed in
three readings by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the
77. If the Saeima has amended the first, second,
third, fourth, sixth or seventy-seventh Article of the
Constitution, such amendments, in order to come into force as
law, shall be submitted to a national referendum.
[15 October 1998]
78. Electors, in number comprising not less than one
tenth of the electorate, have the right to submit a fully
elaborated draft of an amendment to the Constitution or of a law
to the President, who shall present it to the Saeima. If
the Saeima does not adopt it without change as to its
content, it shall then be submitted to national referendum.
79. An amendment to the Constitution submitted for
national referendum shall be deemed adopted if at least half of
the electorate has voted in favour.
A draft law, decision regarding membership of Latvia in the
European Union or substantial changes in the terms regarding such
membership submitted for national referendum shall be deemed
adopted 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 in favour of the draft law,
membership of Latvia in the European Union or substantial changes
in the terms regarding such membership.
[8 May 2003]
80. All citizens of Latvia who have the right to vote
in elections of the Saeima may participate in national
[3 May 2007]
82. In Latvia, court cases shall be heard by district
(city) courts, regional courts and the Supreme Court, but in the
event of war or a state of emergency, also by military
[15 October 1998]
83. Judges shall be independent and subject only to the
84. Judicial appointments shall be confirmed by the
Saeima and they shall be irrevocable. The Saeima
may remove judges from office against their will only in the
cases provided for by law, based upon a decision of the Judicial
Disciplinary Board or a judgment of the Court in a criminal case.
The age of retirement from office for judges may be determined by
[4 December 1997]
85. In Latvia, there shall be a Constitutional Court,
which, within its jurisdiction as provided for by law, shall
review cases concerning the conformity of laws with the
Constitution, as well as other cases conferred within the
jurisdiction thereof by law. The Constitutional Court is entitled
to declare laws or other enactments or parts thereof invalid. The
Saeima shall confirm the appointment of judges to the
Constitutional Court for the term provided for by law, with a
majority of the votes of not less than fifty-one members of the
[19 September 2013]
86. Decisions in court proceedings may be made only by
bodies upon which jurisdiction regarding such has been conferred
by law, and only in accordance with procedures provided for by
law. Military courts shall act on the basis of a specific
The State Audit Office
87. The State Audit Office shall be an independent
88. Auditors General shall be appointed to their office
and confirmed pursuant to the same procedures as judges, but only
for a fixed period of time, during which they may be removed from
office only by a judgment of the Court. A specific law shall
provide for the organisation and responsibilities of the State
Fundamental Human Rights
89. The State shall recognise and protect fundamental
human rights in accordance with this Constitution, laws and
international agreements binding upon Latvia.
90. Everyone has the right to know about his or her
91. All human beings in Latvia shall be equal before
the law and the courts. Human rights shall be realised without
discrimination of any kind.
92. Everyone has the right to defend his or her rights
and lawful interests in a fair court. Everyone shall be presumed
innocent until his or her guilt has been established in
accordance with law. Everyone, where his or her rights are
violated without basis, has a right to commensurate compensation.
Everyone has a right to the assistance of counsel.
93. The right to life of everyone shall be protected by
94. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of
person. No one may be deprived of or have their liberty
restricted, otherwise than in accordance with law.
95. The State shall protect human honour and dignity.
Torture or other cruel or degrading treatment of human beings is
prohibited. No one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading
96. Everyone has the right to inviolability of his or
her private life, home and correspondence.
97. Everyone residing lawfully in the territory of
Latvia has the right to freely move and to choose his or her
place of residence.
98. Everyone has the right to freely depart from
Latvia. Everyone having a Latvian passport shall be protected by
the State when abroad and has the right to freely return to
Latvia. A citizen of Latvia may not be extradited to a foreign
country, except in the cases provided for in international
agreements ratified by the Saeima if by the extradition
the basic human rights specified in the Constitution are not
[23 September 2004]
99. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion. The church shall be separate from the
100. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression,
which includes the right to freely receive, keep and distribute
information and to express his or her views. Censorship is
101. Every citizen of Latvia has the right, as provided
for by law, to participate in the work of the State and of local
government, and to hold a position in the civil service.
Local governments shall be elected by Latvian citizens and
citizens of the European Union who permanently reside in Latvia.
Every citizen of the European Union who permanently resides in
Latvia has the right, as provided by law, to participate in the
work of local governments. The working language of local
governments is the Latvian language.
[23 September 2004]
102. Everyone has the right to form and join
associations, political parties and other public
103. The State shall protect the freedom of previously
announced peaceful meetings, street processions, and pickets.
104. Everyone has the right to address submissions to
State or local government institutions and to receive a
materially responsive reply. Everyone has the right to receive a
reply in the Latvian language.
[30 April 2002]
105. Everyone has the right to own property. Property
shall not be used contrary to the interests of the public.
Property rights may be restricted only in accordance with law.
Expropriation of property for public purposes shall be allowed
only in exceptional cases on the basis of a specific law and in
return for fair compensation.
106. Everyone has the right to freely choose their
employment and workplace according to their abilities and
qualifications. Forced labour is prohibited. Participation in the
relief of disasters and their effects, and work pursuant to a
court order shall not be deemed forced labour.
107. Every employed person has the right to receive,
for work done, commensurate remuneration which shall not be less
than the minimum wage established by the State, and has the right
to weekly holidays and a paid annual vacation.
108. Employed persons have the right to a collective
labour agreement, and the right to strike. The State shall
protect the freedom of trade unions.
109. Everyone has the right to social security in old
age, for work disability, for unemployment and in other cases as
provided by law.
110. The State shall protect and support marriage - a
union between a man and a woman, the family, the rights of
parents and rights of the child. The State shall provide special
support to disabled children, children left without parental care
or who have suffered from violence.
[15 December 2005]
111. The State shall protect human health and guarantee
a basic level of medical assistance for everyone.
112. Everyone has the right to education. The State
shall ensure that everyone may acquire primary and secondary
education without charge. Primary education shall be
113. The State shall recognise the freedom of
scientific research, artistic and other creative activity, and
shall protect copyright and patent rights.
114. Persons belonging to ethnic minorities have the
right to preserve and develop their language and their ethnic and
115. The State shall protect the right of everyone to
live in a benevolent environment by providing information about
environmental conditions and by promoting the preservation and
improvement of the environment.
116. The rights of persons set out in Articles
ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight, one hundred, one hundred
and two, one hundred and three, one hundred and six, and one
hundred and eight of the Constitution may be subject to
restrictions in circumstances provided for by law in order to
protect the rights of other people, the democratic structure of
the State, and public safety, welfare and morals. On the basis of
the conditions set forth in this Article, restrictions may also
be imposed on the expression of religious beliefs.
President of the Constitutional Assembly
Secretary of the Constitutional Assembly
Translation © 2019 Valsts valodas centrs (State