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Latvia - Open Map
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Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
conventional short form: Latvia
local long form: Latvijas Republika
local short form: Latvija
former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: LG

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Riga

Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preilu Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)

Constitution: the 1991 Constitutional Law which supplements the 1922 constitution, provides for basic rights and freedoms

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (since 8 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Andris BERZINS (since 5 May 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term (amended from a three-year term on 4 December 1997); election last held 17 June 1999 (next to be held by NA June 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA elected as a compromise candidate in second phase of balloting, second round (after five rounds in first phase failed); percent of parliamentary vote - Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA 53%, Valdis BIRKAVS 20%, Ingrida UDRE 9%

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms - amended from three-year terms on 4 December 1997)
elections: last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - People's Party 21%, LC 18%, TSP 14%, TB/LNNK 14%, Social Democrats 13%, New Party 8%; seats by party - People's Party 24, LC 21, TSP 16, TB/LNNK 17, Social Democrats 14, New Party 8

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges' appointments are confirmed by Parliament

Political parties and leaders: Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Association of Latvian Social Democrats [Juris BOJARS, Janis ADAMSONS]; Christian Democrat Union or LKDS [Talavs JUNDZIS]; Christian People's Party or KTP (formerly People's Front of Latvia or LTF) [Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Democratic Party "Saimnieks" or DPS [Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman]; For Fatherland and Freedom or TB [Maris GRINBLATS], merged with LNNK; Green Party or LZP [Olegs BATAREVSK]; Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Latvian National Conservative Party or LNNK [Andrejs KRASTINS]; Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Social Democrats) or LSDSP [Janis BOJARS]; Latvian Socialist Party or LSP [Sergejs DIAMANIS]; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [Alberis KAULS]; Latvia's Way or LC [Andrei PANTELEJEVS]; National Harmony Party or TSP [Janis JURKANS]; New Party [Raimonds PAULS]; "Our Land" or MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Party for the Defense of Latvia's Defrauded People [leader NA]; Party of Russian Citizens or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV]; Political Association of the Underprivileged or MPA [B. PELSE, V. DIMANTS, J. KALNINS]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [Edvins KIDE]; People's Party [Andris SKELE]

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aivis RONIS
chancery: 4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214
FAX: [1] (202) 726-6785

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James H. HOLMES
embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga
mailing address: American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 09723
telephone: [371] 721-0005
FAX: [371] 782-0047

Flag description: three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon



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