Saeima supports open presidential vote in first reading

On September 6 the Latvian parliament 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.

Out of the 86 MPs present, 82 voted 'for', three did not vote, and one, Askolds Kļaviņš (Greens and Farmers Union) voted 'against' making the presidential vote open. 

MPs voted, in the first out of three required readings, over amending the Article 36 of the Latvian Constitution, changing a single word to make the presidential election an open ballot.

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

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