RIGA, November 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The number of signatures collected on the initiative of the Central Electoral Commission for awarding the status of the second official language in Latvia to the Russian language will be enough to refer amendments to this effect to the Latvian Constitution for consideration of the Saeima (parliament), such preliminary data of the Central Electoral Commission were announced here on Wednesday, November 30, by the commission’s head, Arnis Tsimdars.
“As many as 146,000 signatures were registered by Wednesday noon, but this is not the limit for the day,” the local mass media cites Tsimdars as saying. The Central Electoral Commission will announce the preliminary results of the signature collection on December 1, he said. The final data will be known in three or four weeks, as all of the collected signatures should be verified, Tsimdars said.
The action For the Native Language, to grant the status of the second official language to the Russian language, began in Latvia on March 7. The Central Electoral Commission announced the official collection of signatures of one-tenth of Latvian voters (154,379 people) from November 1 to 30 in order to refer amendments to the country’s Constitution for consideration of the Saeima (parliament). If the Saeima rejects the bill on the matter, a nationwide referendum must be held. The signatures of some 770,000 citizens are needed to make the Russian language the second official language in Latvia. The signatures of some 700,000 citizens are needed for the purpose.