A case initiated with respect to a norm in The Saeima Election Law that prohibits from including in the list of candidates and elect into the Saeima persons, who after 13 January 1991 had been active in certain organisations


On 18 October 2017, the 3rd Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated a case “On Compliance of Para 6 of Section 5 of The Saeima Election Law with Article 1, Article 9 and Article 91 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.

The Contested Norm

The Saeima Election Law

Para 6 of Section 5 of The Saeima Election Law provides that persons are not be included in the lists of candidates and are not eligible to be elected to the Saeima, if they after 13 January 1991 have been active in CPSU[1] (CPL) [2], the International Front of the Working People of the Latvian SSR[3], the United Board of Working Bodies, the Organisation of War and Labour Veterans, the All-Latvia Salvation Committee or its regional committees.

Norms of Higher Legal Force

Article 1 of the Satversme: “Latvia is an independent democratic republic.”

Article 9 of the Satversme: “All citizens of Latvia who enjoy full rights of citizenship and, who on election day have attained eighteen years of age shall be entitled to vote.”

The first sentence of Article 91 of the Satversme: “All human beings in Latvia shall be equal before the law and the courts.”

Facts of the Case

The case has been initiated with regard to an application submitted by Tatjana Ždanoka. From April 1990 until August 1991 the applicant had been elected as the member of the Control and Audit Commission of CPL. In 1999, upon the request by the Prosecutor’s Office, it had been established by a court’s judgement that the applicant had been active in CPL after 13 January 1991. The applicant had submitted an appellate and cassation complaint regarding this judgement; however, the court rejected both complaints, leaving the judgement by the first instance court in force.

In 2017 the applicant submitted an application to the Central Election Commission to find out, whether she had the right to be a candidate in the Saeima election. The Central Election Commission informed her that in the particular circumstances, on the basis of the contested norm, the applicant could not be included in the list of candidates for the Saeima election.

The applicant holds that the contested norm restricts the rights of former members of CPSU (CPL), by establishing differential treatment of them compared to other citizens of Latvia, to whom The Saeima Election Law grants the right to submit their candidature for the Saeima election. The applicant holds that objective grounds for this differential treatment no longer exist, therefore the principle of equality established in Article 91, as well as Article 1 and Article 9 of the Satversme are violated.

Legal Proceedings

The Constitutional Court has requested the Saeima to provide a reply on the facts of the case and legal substantiation by 18 December 2017.

The term for preparing the case is 18 March 2018. The Court shall decide upon the procedure and the date for hearing the case after the case has been prepared.

[1] The Communist Party of the Soviet Union

[2] The Communist Party of Latvia

[3] Soviet Socialist Republic

Open in PDF: 2017-25-01_PR_par_ierosinasanu_ENG

Linked case: 2017-25-01