E.Smiltēns at the ceremonial opening of a book dedicated to Latvian parliamentarianism: A true democracy cannot be realised without the representation of the people


“A true democracy cannot be realised without the representation of the people and without the parliament — a place where different people, ideas, beliefs meet. A place, where people may come and go, but fundamental continuity and absolute balance of power are ensured," said the Speaker of the Saeima Edvards Smiltēns at the ceremonial opening  of the second  supplemented edition of a book by Gunārs Kusiņš “Parliamentarianism in Latvia: An Overview” on Thursday, February 16, in the Saeima.

The publication in Latvian and English, together with other testimonies of the centenary of the Saeima, was handed over to the Latvian National History Museum for documentation of contemporary history, and it was received by the museum director Arnis Radiņš.

“100 years ago, our ancestors set themselves a clear goal — to build a free and democratic, independent Latvia — and chose to follow the path of parliamentarism. It has been a difficult, complex, uneven, and steep path, but still, it has proven to be the only right way. A path that, to a great extent, has determined the development of our state and each of us,” said the Speaker of the Saeima.

“We are particularly aware of democracy, its importance and value in times like these, when we witness the enormous damage to the world caused by authoritarian regimes,” said the Speaker of the Saeima, noting that history has proven that parliamentary democracy is able to protect states and nations from running into extremes or irreversibly sink in a quagmire of misguided choices.

The author of the book, former long-running head of the Legal Bureau of the Saeima, G.Kusiņš, noted that the publication was created as a chronological overview from the beginning of parliamentarism to the present day, aiming to highlight the values of Latvian democracy. He welcomed and appreciated the fact that the updated book was also published in English, and the history of our parliamentarianism would also become more accessible to foreign readers.

The book “Parliamentarianism in Latvia: An Overview” was first published in 2016, and its second edition, issued at the end of the centenary of the Saeima, has been supplemented with new chapters and visual materials. The publication was made at the initiative of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia and designed by Ingūna Elere and Laura Lorence, design studio H2E.

The author of the book G.Kusiņš was the first head of the Legal Bureau of the Saeima, serving from 1993 to 2014. Since 2014, G.Kusiņš has been the judge of the Constitutional Court.


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Saeima Press Service

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