Latvia's President For Popular-vote Election

Latvia's President Vaira Vike-Freiberga thinks it necessary to make amendments in the Latvian constitution so that head of state be elected by popular vote instead of by deputies of the Seim. She said this on Wednesday in an interview to the newspaper Dijenas Business. A discussion on the need to elect the head of state by popular vote has long been underway in Latvia. In this case, the president becomes independent from members of parliament and political parties with a majority in the Seim. The Latvian Social Democratic Labour Party, led by international law specialist Academician Juris Bojars, has even elaborated a draft new constitution of Latvia. It provides, among other things, for electing the president by popular vote. So far, all parliamentary parties of Latvia, except social democrats, are against making changes in the constitution and, moreover, against passing a new fundamental law. In the opinion of the majority of Latvian politicians, a change in the presidential election system will entail changes in the entire political system of the Latvian state, which they views as inadmissible in the present situation.