Public schools should only teach in Latvian, the official language of Latvia. Or Latvia should just have two state languages, the other being Russian. Whichever you choose, there’s a petition to sign.
The nationalist alliance Visu Latvijai – Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK and an organization called “Sargi valodu un Latviju” used the website www.sargivalodu.lv to get out the word about its petition drive. The petition demands that the constitution be amended to guarantee that elementary and secondary public education is guaranteed by the state, but only in the official language—Latvian.
A total of 10,000 signatures were collected by the end of February and now will be presented to the Central Election Commission (Centrāla vēlēšanu komisija). If all the signatures are legitimate, then the commission will have to organize another petition drive, this time seeking a tenth of all voters, to force the Saeima to consider the amendment.
Meanwhile, Vladimirs Lindermans, head of the Jan. 13 Movement (13. janvāra kustība), and Osipov Party leader Jevgēņijs Osipovs announced March 4 that they will be collecting signatures to recognize Russian as a second state language, according to TVNET and other media. They have formed an organization called “Dzimtā valoda” to push for changes in Latvia’s constitution.
Similar to the petition on Latvian in public education, the effort to recognize Russian could result in forcing the Saeima to take up the question.
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