RIGA - The work of the new Saeima will be focused on strengthening Latvia's democracy, increasing public trust and engagment, said Saeima speaker Edvards Smiltens (United List) at the ceremonial sitting dedicated to the centenary of the Saeima.
"We have to earn respect ourselves. With sensible, just and understandable decisions, with respect to the voter, the Latvian citizen, with respect to each other at the parliament," he said.
The politician said that the parliament continues to grow and develop, and has never been detached from the public processes, party systems and civic activity. The Saeima has always had one goal - people's power, the right for opinion, ideas, Smiltens said.
The politician underscored that it is especially important to remember about democracy, its meaning and value right now, when "authoritarian regimes are causing huge damage to the world". The history proves that democracy may protect countries and nations from running into the utmost mistakes and choices from where there is no return, he said.
Smiltens voiced hopes that Russia's war crimes in Ukraine, genocide and terrorism against Ukrainian residents have opened eyes of the world. Only a wall of unity and solidarity of the whole free and democratic world will be able to stand against Russia. He also noted that Latvia and the Baltic region have a special mission in supporting Ukraine.
One hundred years ago, on November 7, 1922, the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia convened for its first sitting at the building in Jekaba Street. With the convening of the first Saeima, Satversme – the fundamental law of the state of Latvia or the Constitution – came into force.