Constitution of Latvia
The Constitution of Latvia (Latvian: Satversme) is the fundamental law of the Republic of Latvia. Satversme is the oldest Eastern or Central European constitution still in force and the sixth oldest still-functioning republican basic law in the world. It was adopted by, as it states itself, the people of Latvia, in a freely elected Constitutional Assembly, on 15 February 1922 and came into force on 7 November 1922. It was influenced by ideas of the Weimar Constitution and Swiss Federal Constitution. Although the initial bill consisted of two parts, the second part—which regulated citizens' rights and obligations—was voted down; a chapter on fundamental human rights was added only by amendment in 1998.After the 1934 coup d'etat a declaration was passed which assigned functions of the parliament to the Cabinet of Ministers until a new constitution could be drafted, thereby partly suspending the constitution. A new constitution was never drafted, and during World War II Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union.In 1990 the parliament of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic declared the annexation of Latvia illegal, as it was done by ignoring the Constitution of Latvia and both the constitution and Republic of Latvia still existed de jure, thereby restoring the independence of Latvia. The constitution, except for the Articles 1, 2, 3 and 6, was suspended by the same declaration in order to be reviewed; the constitution was fully reinforced by the first assembly of the fifth Saeima in 1993. The constitution establishes six bodies of government; it consists of 115 articles arranged in eight chapters.