Rīga elections take place today

Take note – story published 3 years and 8 months ago

Saturday, August 29, is the official date of Riga City Council emergency elections.

Polling stations are open from 7:00 to 22:00 and by 8 in the morning, 1,691 people had already voted, according to the Central Election Commission.

Since Wednesday, early voting was possible. Over these three days, 81,228 or 19.24% of eligible Rīga citizens had cast their vote.

Those unable to come to polling stations due to health issues have the chance to apply to vote at their place of residence. This can also be done by those in self-isolation. 

At polling stations, people are asked to comply with distancing, avoid crowding, and observe general safety measures. Face masks will be available and are recommended but not mandatory. People are asked to take their own pens but if necessary, the polling station will provide one.

Voters are asked to go to their assigned voting district, as changing districts will take time.

15 political forces, who have submitted their lists of candidates, have applied for the Riga City Council's emergency elections.

In February this year, the Latvian Saeima voted to dismiss the Riga City Council. The extraordinary elections were originally planned for April but following the state of emergency the date was changed several times until it was set to August 29.

More information in English on the election procedure is available at the Central Election Commission website

It is unlikely that any one party will dominate the results, with municipal administrations generally formed from sometimes complex alliances and agreements. However, with the capital city accounting for around a third of the population of the country and with Rīga as the commercial, transport, cultural and political center of the country, the position of Rīga mayor is arguably the third most powerful in the country after the President and Prime Minister.  

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