Parliament of Baltia

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Parliament of Baltia
Baltisch Landtag
Baltisch Landtag (1).png
Type
Type
Leadership
Eckart NesslerSP
since 14 January 2014
Structure
Seats 190
Landtag2017.png
Political groups
Government (95):
  BFP: 36 seats
  SP: 36 seats
  CSU: 23 seats
Opposition (95):
  ZP: 42 seats
  PfdF: 20 seats
  G: 17 seats
  LB: 11 seats
  Independents: 5 seats
Elections
Open list proportional representation with the D'Hondt method nationwide with a 3% threshold
Last election
2015
Meeting place
Chamber of the Landtag (1).jpg
The Landtag Chamber in Riga Castle.
Website
www.baltischlandtag.bl
The Parliament of Baltia (Baltish: Baltisch Landtag or Landtag) is the unicameral parliament of the Republic of Baltia. Established in 1921, until 1936 and from 1945 to 1949, the Landtag was the lower house of a bicameral parliament, called the Reichtag and the upper house was the Senate. It meets in Riga Castle, in Alstadt Riga.

All important state-related questions pass through the Landtag. In addition to approving legislation, the Landtag appoints high officials, including the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Supreme Court, among others. The Landtag also ratifies significant foreign treaties that impose military and proprietary obligations, bring about changes in law, etc., approves the budget presented by the government as law and monitors the executive power.

The 190 members of the Landtag are democratically elected by open lists and proportional representation with the D'Hondt method nationwide with a 3% threshold.

The most recent legislative election was held on 1 March 2015.

History[edit | edit source]

The Parliament of Baltia was preceded by the Great Ducal Council (Gross Herzoglichrat) (1810-1917) and by the Constituent Assembly (Ferfassunggebend Fersammlung) (1919-1921).

The original Constitution of Baltia established a bicameral parliament known as the Reichtag divided into two chambers: consisting of Senat or Senate, with 90 members and Landtag with 160 members. The Senate was indirectly elected by governors and city councillors while the Landtag was directly elected by universal suffrage.

The Constitution was suspended in part by President Karl Ullmann in 1936. As a result, the Senate was disbanded and the Landtag significantly reduced its powers.

During the soviet occupation (1940-1945), the Parliament was replaced by the Supreme Soviet of the Baltish Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1945, the bicameral Parliament of Baltia was restored. In 1948, through a constitutional referendum, a revised constitution was adopted. Among the changes was the elimination of the Senate and the introduction of a unicameral parliament, known only as the Landtag. The parliamentary election of 1949 was the first to a unicameral assembly with 175 seats.

Constitutional referendum of 1981 varied again the number of seats from 175 to 190.

Powers and role[edit | edit source]

The three most important tasks of the Landtag are the passing of Acts and resolutions, carrying out of parliamentary supervision and conducting foreign relations. In addition to these, the Landtag:

Composition[edit | edit source]

Riga Castle, the location of the Landtag since 1921.

The Landtag's 190 representatives are elected directly by secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation with a nationwide 3% threshold. Members are elected by popular vote for legislative terms of four years from the country's twenty electoral districts. The number of voters registered in a electoral district determines the number of its members in the Landtag. Electoral districts vary greatly in size; from as large as the Riga City, which returns 19 representatives, to as small as Memel City and Northwest, which elects just four each.

All Baltish citizens with full active legal capacity who have attained eighteen years of age and are not serving a prison sentence have the right to vote. The conditions for standing as a candidate are the same, only the age limit is twenty-one years.

Organisation[edit | edit source]

Board of the Landtag[edit | edit source]

The Board of the Landtag presides over the work of the Landtag. The Board is elected from among the members of the Landtag and it consists of the President of the Landtag and four vice presidents. The mandate of the Board starts shortly after a parliamentary election. Since October 2017, the current Board consists of:
Portfolio Representative Party
President Eckart Nessler SP
First Vice President Henrik Ehrenbaum BFP
Second Vice President Karl Lang ZP
Third Vice President Monika Sattler-Hauptmann CSU
Fourth Vice President Agnes Lachner PfdF

Party groups[edit | edit source]

Each party represented in parliament has a party group or faction. It is led by a group board and chaired by a parliamentary leader. It is customary for the party leader to also act as parliamentary leader, but since party leaders of government parties normally sit as ministers, governing parties elect other representatives as their parliamentary leaders. The current parliamentary leaders are:

Party Seats Parliamentary leader
Centre Party 42 Jürgen Lichter
Baltish People's Party 36 Christine Sattler
Social Democratic Party 36 Eugen Osinsky
Christian Social Union 23 Helmut-Valter Seetzen
Party for Freedom 20 Matthias Heilmann
The Greens 17 Fritz Siegel
Left Bloc 11 Yelena Aleksenko
Independents 5 No parliamentary leader

Standing committees[edit | edit source]

A standing committee of the Landtag is a mini-parliament of a specialised field that consists of the members of the factions registered in the Landtag. The committees prepare draft legislation for discussion in the plenary assembly of the Landtag, involving also stakeholders when necessary. Besides that, the committees deal with the parliamentary control of their fields of specialisation. The current fourteen standing commitees are:

Commitee Chair Party
Anti-Corruption Committee Andreas Herkenhoff LB
Constitutional Committee Markus Pöllmacher CSU
Cultural Affairs Committee Adolf Muntz BFP
Economic Affairs Committee Sfen Sessler CSU
Environment Committee Rainer Falckenberg SP
European Union Affais Committee Thomas Visscher BFP
Finance Committee Michael Stepanovich BFP
Foreign Affairs Committee Markus Mildenberger CSU
Legal Affairs Committee Johannes Katterfeld BFP
Local and Regional Affairs Committee Ruth Minkowski G
National Defence Affairs Committee Johannes Hansch SP
Parliamentary Salary Committee Jana Kühnert-Pankau PfdF
Rural Affairs Committee Udo Kruspe ZP
Social Affairs Committee Helma Kuttner SP

Members[edit | edit source]

Elections[edit | edit source]

Building[edit | edit source]

The Parliament of Baltia convenes in Riga Castle, located on Republic Square in Riga.

See also[edit | edit source]

Political parties in Baltia
Reichtag of Baltia
Senate of Baltia