Duties and functions
The Speaker is one of the top officials of the state who represents the Saeima, chairs and maintains order during the plenary sittings, as well as ensures that the sitting is held in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.
The Speaker is elected from among the elected MPs.
The Speaker chairs meetings of the Presidium and meetings devoted to parliamentary questions during which MPs pose questions to the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, or the Governor of the Bank of Latvia concerning matters which fall within the competence of these officials.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the Speaker can temporarily fulfil the duties of the President of Latvia if the latter is abroad, resigns from office, is recalled, dies, or for some other reason is unable to fulfil his/her duties.
By virtue of his/her position, the Speaker is a member of the National Security Council. The Council coordinates implementation of a unified national security policy by public institutions and state officials.
By virtue of his/her position, the Speaker is also the Chairperson of the Board for Awarding the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991. These medals are awarded to participants of the barricades for their courage, selflessness and initiative, as well as to those who helped to organise activities and provided supplies. These medals are also presented to individuals who gave moral and material support to participants of the barricades.
The Speaker devotes considerable time to diplomatic relations by meeting foreign dignitaries, delegations and ambassadors, as well as by paying official or working visits abroad. Once a year, the Speaker invites representatives of the diplomatic corps, namely ambassadors accredited in the Republic of Latvia and honorary consuls, to a meeting with MPs; in turn, within the framework of the annual meeting of the heads of diplomatic missions of the Republic of Latvia abroad, the Speaker and MPs meet the ambassadors of the Republic of Latvia.
A significant duty of the Speaker is working with documents, as well as submissions and letters sent by various institutions and individuals.
Since the Speaker is also an MP, he/she fulfils all the duties of an MP and is a member of various committees and subcommittees.
The staff of the Speaker's Office assists the Speaker in his/her work.
Insignia of the Speaker
A white flag with a cross having the same colour proportions as the national flag and the large national coat of arms in the top right-hand white segment is displayed in the Speaker’s office, on his/her car, or on other means of transport which he/she uses.
The Saeima has several traditions initiated by its Speakers. One of these traditions is tree planting in the spring; intended as a symbolic gift to Latvia, this event takes place in conjunction with the 4 May – the day when the proclamation of the Declaration on the Renewal of Independence of the Republic of Latvia is celebrated. In January, the Speaker invites MPs, participants of barricades, journalists, and any interested individuals to light a bonfire in commemoration of the Barricades of 1991. Before Christmas, the Speaker invites children to a pre-Christmas party held at the main Saeima building.
The Presidium’s Certificate of Merit has also been established; it is signed by the Speaker and is awarded to individuals for their achievements in reaching national development goals set by the parliament.