Latvian citizens abroad who wish to vote in the June 6 election for the European Parliament have until April 25 to apply for an absentee ballot at embassies or consulates, according to the Central Election Commission in Rīga.
Those abroad may also submit absentee ballot applications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rīga until May 7.
No voting precincts will operate abroad on election day, said Kristīne Bērziņa, spokesperson for the Central Election Commission. Those citizens who are abroad may only vote by mail.
All 27 member states of the European Union will be voting for members of the European Parliament. Latvia will elect eight members.
In all, 17 political parties in Latvia are fielding a total of 186 candidates, according to the Central Election Commission. Parties include:
- New Era (Jaunais laiks)
- Civil Union (Pilsoniskā savienība)
- For Fatherland and Freedom / LNNK (Tēvzemei un Brīvībai / LNNK)
- Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība)
- Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party (Latvijas Sociāldemokrātiskā strādnieku partija)
- Society for Political Change (Sabiedrība citai politikai)
- People’s Party (Tautas partija)
- For the Homeland! (Par dzimteni!)
- Latvian Revival Party (Latvijas Atdzimšanas partija)
- First Party of Latvia / Latvia’s Way (Latvijas Pirmā partija / Latvijas ceļš)
- Harmony Centre (Saskaņas Centrs)
- The pan-European party Libertas.lv
- Action Party (Rīcības partija)
- For Human Rights in United Latvia (Par cilvēka tiesībām vienotā Latvijā)
- Christian Democratic Union (Kristīgi demokrātiskā savienība)
- The Liepāja-based Osipov Party (Osipova partija) led by Jevgēņijs Osipovs
- All for Latvia (Visu Latvijai).
A complete list of the 45 embassies and consulates that will accept absentee ballot applications until April 25 is available online from the Central Election Commission.
In Australia, the applications will be accepted at the honorary consulates in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, according to a March 30 ruling by the commission. In Canada, applications should be sent to the Latvian Embasssy in Ottawa. In the United States, applications go to the embassy in Washington, D.C. In Ireland, applications may be sent to the embassy in Dublin. In the United Kingdom, applications may be mailed to the embassy in London.
Absentee ballot applications also will be accepted until May 7 by mail at the following address: LR Ārlietu ministrijas Konsulārais departaments, Elizabetes iela 57, Rīga, LV 1050, Latvia.
Municipal elections also are scheduled across Latvia on June 6, but citizens living abroad are not allowed to participate in those. Latvian citizens living in other European Union member states may vote for European Parliament candidates from those countries, but by doing so they lose the right to vote for candidates from Latvia.
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