Membership threshold of 500 to be applied to political parties running for the Saeima or European Parliament

(03.03.2016.)

On Thursday, 3 March, the Saeima adopted in the third and final reading amendments to the Saeima Election Law, the Elections to the European Parliament Law and the Law on Political Parties, stipulating that henceforth political parties or unions thereof wishing to run in elections of the Saeima or the European Parliament must have at least 500 members.

The amendments also introduce a requirement for political parties or unions of political parties to have been established at least one year prior to the elections to qualify for them.

Currently the membership threshold is set at 200, and, according to the summary of the amendments, the changes are intended to strengthen the legitimacy of political parties.

Furthermore, the amendments set forth a requirement for political parties to incorporate in their statutes procedures for their members to add items on the party conference agenda. The authors of the amendments argue that this provision will have a positive effect on members’ capacity to shape the agenda of their political party.

The amendments follow the initiative of former president of state Andris Bērziņš aimed at streamlining the regulatory framework of political parties.

 

Saeima Press Service

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