State and politics
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
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
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.
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
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.
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)
||French Joseph II
||Hans Adam II (regent from 1984)