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Liechtenstein Politics

State and politics

GOVERNMENT

Liechtenstein is a constitutional, parliamentary, male hereditary monarchy. The head of state is Hans Adam II, who in 1984 assumed the reigns of his father Franz Josef II, and at his death in 1989 also the princely title. In 2004, Hans Adam II handed over the responsibility as regent to his eldest son, heiress Prince Alois, who then became deputy prince.

Political System of Liechtenstein

The prince has far-reaching powers in appointing and dismissing the country's government, stopping legislative proposals and appointing judges. Citizens also have relatively extensive political rights and can, for example, submit legislative proposals and propose a referendum on legislative proposals. Female suffrage was first introduced in 1984.

Since 1862, Liechtenstein has a parliament, the Land Day, which, according to the Constitution of 1921, has 25 members who are elected for four years in direct, general elections. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how LS can stand for Liechtenstein. The country is divided into two constituencies - Oberland with 15 seats and Unterland with 10. The limit for participation in the distribution of seats is 8 percent of the votes cast.

The Land Day appoints the five members of the government.

Policy

The two dominant parties Vaterländische Union (Fosterlandsunionen, VU) and Fortschrittliche Bürgerpartei (Civil Progress Party, FBP) are conservative, Catholic and monarchist. However, VU is considered more liberal than PDB. The parties have ruled together from 1938 to 1997 and since 2005.

Since the mid-1980s, there has also been the Green Party Freie List (Free List, FL), which has been mandated in Parliament since the early 1990s.

In the 2013 election, VU lost many votes and FBP became the largest party with 40 percent of the vote. A new party Die Independent (The Independent, DU) criticized the government's economic policy and VU and FBP's long-standing power monopoly and won four seats.

Dissatisfaction with the government's economic policy has increased, as was evident in the election results of the Landtagsvalet 2017 as the old parties continued to lose support among voters. Their holdings of government power, however, are still unthreatened.

The country's former police chief FBP leader Adrian Hasler, who has been prime minister since 2013, was elected in 2017 to continue as head of government.

Judiciary

The legal system in Liechtenstein is codified and is traditionally based mainly on Austrian law. There are three general courts, all in the capital Vaduz: the Fürstliches Landgericht, the Obergericht and the Oberster Gerichtshof. There are special courts for certain criminal cases, administrative law cases and constitutional disputes. The death penalty was abolished in 1987; the last execution took place in 1785.

Heads of State

Princes (from 1866)

1866-1929 Johan II
1929-38 French I
1938-89 French Joseph II
1989- Hans Adam II (regent from 1984)
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