Commission sets referendum polling places abroad

A total of 48 polling stations in 39 countries will be open Aug. 2 so Latvian citizens abroad may vote in a referendum that could lead to a popular recall of the parliament, the Central Election Commission accounced June 13 in Rīga.

The polling stations are all in Latvian embassies or consulates, commission spokesperson Kristīne Bērziņa said in a press release. Citizens may also apply for mail ballots at 13 of those polling stations. The deadline for vote-by-mail applications is July 11.

Hundreds of polling places also will be open in Latvia.

The referendum will ask whether the Latvian constitution should be amended to allow citizens to initiate dismissal of the Saeima. Currently only the president may do so.

The location of polling stations abroad was recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On election day, polling stations will be open abroad from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time in:

  • Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.
  • Vienna, Austria.
  • Baku, Azerbaidjan.
  • Minsk and Vitebsk in Belarus.
  • Brussels, Belgium.
  • São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Ottawa and Toronto in Canada.
  • Beijing, China.
  • Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Cairo, Egypt.
  • Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Helsinki, Finland.
  • Paris, France.
  • Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • Berlin and Bonn in Germany.
  • Athens, Greece.
  • Budapest, Hungary.
  • Dublin, Ireland.
  • Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Rome, Italy.
  • Tokyo, Japan.
  • Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Oslo, Norway.
  • Warsaw, Poland.
  • Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Kaliningrad, Pskov, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia.
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Madrid, Spain.
  • Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Ankara, Turkey.
  • Kiev, Ukraine.
  • London, United Kingdom.
  • New York and Washington, D.C., in the United States.
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Caracas, Venezuela.

Requests for mail ballots may be made to the Latvian embassies in Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Minsk, Oslo, Ottawa, Stockholm or Washington, D.C., as well as to the honorary consulates in Adelaide, Sydney and São Paulo. The application letter and the applicant’s Latvian passport must be presented in person or mailed to the embassy or consulate.

Further information on the referendum and the election process is available from the Central Election Commission’s Web site,

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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