Parliament of Baltia
|Parliament of Baltia |
Government (95): |
BFP: 36 seats
SP: 36 seats
CSU: 23 seatsOpposition (95):
ZP: 42 seats
PfdF: 20 seats
G: 17 seats
LB: 11 seats
Independents: 5 seats
|Open list proportional representation with the D'Hondt method nationwide with a 3% threshold|
|The Landtag Chamber in Riga Castle.|
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 most recent legislative election was held on 1 March 2015.
History[edit | edit source]
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.
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:
- Authorises the candidate for Prime Minister to form the Government.
- Passes the state budget and approves the report on its implementation.
- Ratifies and denounces foreign treaties.
- Decides on the organisation of referendums.
- Decides on the expression of no confidence in the Government of Baltia, the Prime Minister or individual ministers.
- On the proposal of the President of the Republic, appoints the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Baltia, the Auditor General, the Chancellor of Justice and the Chief of Defence of the Defence Forces.
- On the proposal of the Chairman of the Supreme Court, appoints to office the justices of the Supreme Court.
- Appoints the members of the Board of the Bank of Baltia.
- Declares a state of emergency in the state.
- On the proposal of the President of the Republic, declares a state of war and orders mobilisation and demobilisation.
- Establishes state decorations, military and diplomatic ranks.
Composition[edit | edit source]
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:
|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:
|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:
|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|