Overview of Riga

Politics of Riga

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Latvia is a democratic, parliamentary republic.

The legislative power is the Parliament, called Saeima, and its 100 members are elected by direct popular vote once every four years. The president is elected by the Saeima and largely serves a representative function.

The executive power is the Cabinet of Ministers - the prime minister is appointed by the president, their task is to appoint heads of each ministry, and the cabinet is voted in power by the Saeima.

The judicial power lies in the hands of the court system.

Latvia has a multi-party system and the years since regaining of independence in 1991 have been characterized by fluidity of political parties and party unions - often parties form ahead of parliamentary elections only to have dissolved before the next election four years later. Voting largely follows ethno-linguistic lines, there have seldom been political parties that have been successful in attracting both the Latvian and the Russian speaking electorate equally well.

Latvia joined the European Union and NATO in 2004. It was included in the Schengen Area in 2007, and since 2014 Latvia is a member of the Eurozone.


The city of Riga is ruled by a democratically elected city council that consists of 60 members, also called councilors. The elections of the local government take place every four years. The head of the government of Riga is the mayor, a person usually nominated from the political party that has won the municipal election. The city council also consists of two deputy mayors, a Presidium, and executive directors of the city and of city districts.

The Riga Town Hall building, the headquarters of the city administration, is located at the Ratslaukums (literally, the Town Hall Square) in the Old Town of Riga.

Information about the Riga City Council and ways of contacting it can be found in the Municipal Portal of Riga.

Update 26/08/2015

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