Legislation

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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 Saeima.

Article 67. The Saeima shall determine the size of the armed forces of the State during peacetime.

Article 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 ratification.

Membership of Latvia in the European Union shall be decided by a national referendum, which is proposed by the Saeima.

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.

Article 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.

Article 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).”

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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 members present.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 80. All citizens of Latvia who have the right to vote in elections of the Saeima may participate in national referendums.

Article 81. [3 May 2007]

[21 March 1933; 4 December 1997; 15 October 1998; 8 May 2003; 23 September 2004; 3 May 2007]