On 19 June, the Saeima, with 69 parliamentarians voting in favour and 28 voting against, adopted amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (Satversme) in the final reading. The Constitution was supplemented with an introduction revealing its very purpose and essence.
The Saeima has approved the following wording of the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (unofficial translation):
“The State of Latvia, which was proclaimed on 18 November 1918, has been established by uniting historical Latvian territories based on the unwavering will of the Latvian nation for its own State and on the inalienable right to self-determination in order to guarantee the existence and development of the Latvian nation, its language and culture for over centuries, to provide freedom and promote prosperity for the people of Latvia and for each individual.
The people of Latvia created their State through the Fights for Independence. By way of a freely elected Constitutional Assembly they founded a state structure and adopted this Constitution.
The people of Latvia did not recognise the occupation regimes, resisted them and regained freedom by restoring independence of the State on 4 May 1990 based on the continuity of the State. They honour their defenders of freedom, commemorate victims of foreign powers, and condemn the Communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes and crimes committed by them.
Latvia as a democratic State, based on the rule of law, and as social and national State is founded upon respect for human dignity and freedom; it recognises and protects fundamental human rights and respects national minorities. The people of Latvia protect their sovereignty, as well as the independence, territory, territorial integrity and the democratic political structure of the State of Latvia.
Since times immemorial, Latvia’s identity in the European cultural space is shaped by Latvian and Liv traditions, Latvian historical life experiences, the Latvian language, universal human and Christian values. Loyalty to Latvia, the Latvian language as the only state language, freedom, equality, solidarity, justice, honesty, the work virtue and family are the foundations of a cohesive society. Everyone takes care of one’s self, one’s relatives and the common good of society by acting responsibly toward other people, future generations, the environment and nature.
Mindful of her equality in the international community, Latvia protects its national interests and facilitates the sustainable and democratic development of the united Europe and the world.
God, bless Latvia!”*
Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia were considered and adopted by the Saeima in three readings; namely, the Constitution envisages that amendments to it may be introduced only if they are approved by at least two-thirds of parliamentarians.
In the context of these amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, extensive discussions were held in public and among experts, and a conference devoted to this topic was held at the University of Latvia on 25 October 2013.