A case initiated with regard to the provisions that set out the procedures for electing local government councils
On 4 June 2021, the 1st Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated the case “On compliance of Section 32(4) and (8) of the Law on the Election of Local Government Councils with Article 101 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia”.
Section 32(4) of the Law on the Election of Local Government Councils provides that voting at the location of a voter only takes place if the voter is located in the territory of the electoral district where the voter is registered on the electoral roll.
Section 32(8) of the same law provides that for the suspects, accused or defendants who are subject to arrest as a security measure voting is organised at their location in accordance with the procedures laid down in paragraphs one and four of this Section.
Provisions of Superior Legal Force
- Article 101 of the Constitution (Satversme) of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – the Constitution): “Every citizen of Latvia has the right, as provided for by law, to participate in the work of the State and of local government, and to hold a position in the civil service.
Local governments shall be elected by Latvian citizens and citizens of the European Union who permanently reside in Latvia. Every citizen of the European Union who permanently resides in Latvia has the right, as provided by law, to participate in the work of local governments. The working language of local governments is the Latvian language.”
Facts of the Case
The case has been initiated on the basis of an application filed by Aivars Lembergs (hereinafter – the Applicant). Pursuant to the abridged ruling of the Judicial Panel for Criminal Cases of Riga Regional Court, arrest as a security measure was applied to the Applicant, and the Applicant is now in Riga Central Prison. The Applicant is entered in the electoral register for the city of Ventspils, and his electoral area is the municipality of Ventspils valstspilsēta [city of national significance Ventspils].
The Applicant is of the opinion that the contested provisions interfere with the fundamental rights granted to him by Article 101 of the Constitution as they deny him the possibility to vote in Ventspils City Council election on 5 June 2021. More specifically, the contested provisions do not provide for the possibility to vote in the elections of local government councils for those Latvian citizens to whom arrest has been applied as a security measure and who are in a place of deprivation of liberty which is not situated in the territory of the electoral district where the citizen is registered on the electoral roll.
The Constitutional Court has requested the Saeima to submit a written reply stating the facts of the case and the legal reasoning by 4 August 2021.
- The case is to be prepared by 4 November 2021.
The Court will decide on the type of proceedings and the date of hearing once the case has been prepared.
The decision to initiate the case is available here.
Press release in PDF is available here.
Linked case: 2021-23-01