Parliament to vote on open presidential ballot

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The Saeima Legal Affairs Committee on July 17 supported amendments to the Latvian constitution that would introduce an open presidential vote, reported LSM's Latvian-language service.

In Latvia, the president is elected by MPs in a closed ballot, the only parliamentary vote that's secret.

It is expected that, as parliamentary sessions resume in September, MPs will vote over amending the Article 36 of the Latvian Constitution, changing a single word to make the presidential election an open ballot.

A small-sample series of street interviews by Latvian Radio indicated unanimous support for this step.

Constitutional amendments require support of at least two-thirds of MPs present at the vote to pass. 

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