|Speaker||Solvita Āboltiņa, Unity
|Voting system||Open list proportional representation with a 5% election threshold|
|Last election||17 September 2011|
|Next election||4 October 2014|
|House of the Livonian noble corporation, Riga|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Saeima (Latvian pronunciation: [sæimaː]) is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a unicameral parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation, with seats allocated to political parties which gain at least 5% of the popular vote. Elections are scheduled to be held once every four years, normally on the first Saturday of October. The most recent elections were held in September 2011.
The President of Latvia can dismiss the Saeima and request early elections. The procedure for dismissing it involves substantial political risk to the president, including a risk of loss of office. On May 28, 2011, president Valdis Zatlers decided to initiate the dissolution of the current Saeima, which was to be decided in a referendum. The Saeima was dissolved on 23 July 2011.
The word "Saeima" meaning "a gathering, a meeting, a council" was constructed by the Young Latvian Juris Alunāns. It stems from the archaic Latvian word eima meaning "to go" (derived from the PIE *ei "to go" and also a cognate with the Ancient Greek eimi, Gaulish eimu among others)  Cognates with Polish sejm and Lithuanian seimas as they all have common ancestor - the parliament of Commonwealth of Both Nations.
Deputies are elected to represent one of five constituencies: Kurzeme (13 deputies), Latgale (15), Riga (30), Vidzeme (27), and Zemgale (15). Seats are distributed in each constituency by open list proportional representation among the parties that overcome a 5% national election threshold.
|Zatlers' Reform Party||190,853||20.82%||New||22||New|
|Union of Greens and Farmers||111,955||12.22%||–7.90%||13||–9|
|Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way||22,131||2.41%||–5.40%||0||–8|
|For Human Rights in United Latvia||7,109||0.78%||–0.69%||0||±0|
|Last Party (Pēdējā partija)||4,471||0.49%||–0.41%||0||±0|
|For a Presidential Republic (Par prezidentālu republiku)||2,881||0.31%||–0.44%||0||±0|
|People's Control (Tautas kontrole)||2,573||0.28%||–0.14%||0||±0|
|Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party||2,531||0.28%||–0.37%||0||±0|
|Freedom. Free from Fear, Hate and Anger (Brīvība. Brīvs no bailēm, naida un dusmām)||2,011||0.22%||New||0||New|
|Christian Democratic Union||1,994||0.22%||–0.15%||0||±0|
Source: Central Election Commission of Latvia
- "Zatlers nolemj rosināt Saeimas atlaišanu" [Zatlers decides to initiate thedissolution of the Saeima]. Delfi (in Latvian). May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Zuicena, Ieva; Migla, Ilga (2008). "Jura Alunāna devums latviešu leksikogrāfijā" (PDF). LU Raksti (in Latvian) 731: 75. ISSN 1407-2157. Retrieved 2010-05-27.