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Referendum to take place on July 23

  • 2011-05-31
  • TBT Staff

The president made his announcement in a televised address to the nation on Saturday.

RIGA -- The referendum on whether to dissolve the Latvian parliament has been scheduled for July 23. 

The referendum will pose just one question, "Do you support dissolution of the 10th Saeima?", and will have only two possible answers.

The vote is due after President Valdis Zatlers Saturday dissolved the country's parliament, the first time since Latvia regained independence that a president has used the power.

The president said his decision was a result of the parliamentary vote two days earlier in which the legislature blocked the anti-corruption bureau from searching the home of Ainars Slesers, one of the country's oligarchs.

The move came just a few days before parliament was due to vote on Zatlers' re-election, and the timing has led some to speculate that the drastic step could have been influenced by that upcoming vote.

The vote is around 2 weeks after the end of Zatlers' first term. The president has said, however, that he will step down if he is reelected and the referendum fails.

If the vote is successful, as many analysts and politicians have predicted it will be, it will mean that the country will hold new general elections.