The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia sets forth that the Saeima is composed of 100 representatives of the people and is elected for a term of four years in general, equal and direct elections conducted by secret ballot and based on proportional representation. All citizens of Latvia who enjoy full rights of citizenship and who on election day have attained 18 years of age are entitled to vote.
The new Saeima is elected before the end of the term of office of the previous Saeima; thus it is a constantly functioning institution representing the people. Any citizen of Latvia who enjoys full rights of citizenship and who is more than 21 years of age on election day may be elected to the Saeima.
The Saeima elections are held in five multi-member constituencies – Riga, Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale and Kurzeme. The number of members of parliament to be elected from each constituency is determined proportionally to the number of voters registered in each constituency four months before election day. Voters residing abroad are included among voters of the Riga constituency.
In the Saeima elections, votes are cast for candidate lists submitted by political parties or associations of political parties. A candidate may be included in only one candidate list distributed in only one constituency. In order for the party or the association of parties to be represented in the Saeima, it must receive at least 5% of the total number of votes cast in all five constituencies.
The procedure of the Saeima elections is determined by the Saeima Election Law. The Central Election Commission, a permanently functioning and elected public institution, is responsible for preparing and conducting the Saeima elections.