Polling stations open in preparation for referendum on Saeima’s dismissal

Polling stations in Latvia and abroad began work July 13 in preparation for a referendum that could result in dismissal of the 10th Saeima.

The stations—including 78 abroad—will have information about the balloting process available for anyone interested, according to the Central Election Commission in Rīga.

The polling stations are to be open four hours per day from July 13-July 22. Hours are to be set by local election officials. The referendum is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time on July 23.

Also, persons who for medical or other reasons will not be able to get to a polling station may apply to vote in their home or hospital. Further information about the application process and deadline is available from the election commission’s website at www.cvk.lv.

The referendum was initiated after then-President Valdis Zatlers used his constitutional power to call for the parliament’s dismissal. If the referendum succeeds, the 100 members of the Saeima will lose their posts and new elections will be held in September. If the referendum fails, the president is supposed to step down, but Zatlers’ term in office expired July 7.

A list of polling stations is available from the commission’s website in PDF or Microsoft Word format. In order to vote, a person must have a valid Latvian passport and be at least 18 years old.

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