U.S. Edition
 COUNTRY  Republic of Latvia
 ELECTION TYPE  Referendum on Latvia's entry into the European Union
 DATE  September 20, 2003
At stake in this Referendum:
  • The referendum will ask voters whether Latvia should seek membership to join the European Union (EU).
Description of government structure:
  • Chief of State: President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Einars REPSE
  • Assembly: Latvia has a unicameral parliament (Saeima) which consists of 100 seats.
Main provisions in this Referendum:

  • The referendum will ask voters the following question: "Do you support the membership of Latvia in the European Union?"
  • The referendum would be valid if the number of voters is at least 1/2 of the number that voted in the 2002 parliamentary election.
Population and number of registered voters:
  • Population: 2,366,515 (July 2002 estimate)
  • Number of registered voters: NA
Of Interest:
  • Latvia is the last of the 10 candidates states applying for membership in the European Union by 2006 to hold a referendum on the issue.
  • One of the major concerns surrounding the referendum involves the country's economic stability. Opponents of the integration argue that opening Latvia's market to member economies might cause a rise in inflation and interest rates, and tighter fiscal policies if export rates are not met.
  • According to one of the surveys, 69% of the participants intend to vote in the upcoming referendum. In this survey, 49.6% of those intending to vote would support Latvia's entry into the EU while 34.4% would oppose it and the rest are undecided.
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