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Liechtenstein Government
 
 
 

General

Liechtenstein's current constitution was adopted in October 1921. It established in Liechtenstein a constitutional monarchy ruled by the reigning prince of the Princely House of Liechtenstein. It also established a parliamentary system, although the reigning prince retained substantial political authority.

A new constitution was approved in March 2003, that grants the ruling prince extensive powers, including the right to veto legislation and to control the appointment of judges, in addition to the rights guaranteed to him under the former constitution.

The reigning prince of the Princely House of Liechtenstein is the head of state and, as such, represents Liechtenstein in its international relations (although Switzerland has taken responsibility for much of Liechtenstein's diplomatic relations). The prince may veto laws adopted by the parliament. The prince can call referendums, propose new legislation, and dissolve the parliament, although dissolution of parliament may be subjected to a referendum.

Executive authority is vested in a collegial government (government) comprising the head of government (prime minister) and four government councilors (ministers). The head of government and the other ministers are appointed by the prince upon the proposal and concurrence of the parliament, thus reflecting the partisan balance of the parliament. The constitution stipulates that at least two members of the government be chosen from each of the two regions. The members of the government are collectively and individually responsible to the parliament; the parliament may ask the prince to remove an individual minister or the entire government.

Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral Landtag (parliament) made up of 25 members elected for maximum four-year terms according to a proportional representation formula. Fifteen members are elected from the Oberland (Upper Country or region) and ten members are elected from the Unterland (Lower Country or region). Parties must receive at least 8% of the national vote to win seats in the parliament. The parliament proposes and approves a government, which is formally appointed by the prince. The parliament may also pass votes of no confidence against the entire government or against individual members.

Additionally, the parliament elects from among its members a Landesausschuss (National Committee) made up of the president of the parliament and four additional members. The National Committee is charged with performing parliamentary oversight functions. The parliament can call for referendums on proposed legislation. The parliament shares the authority to propose new legislation with the prince and with the requisite number of citizens required for an initiative referendum.

Judicial authority is vested in the Regional Court at Vaduz, the Princely High Court of Appeal at Vaduz, the Princely Supreme Court, the Administrative Court, and the State Court. The State Court rules on the conformity of laws with the constitution. The State Court has five members elected by the parliament.

Overview

Country name :
conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
conventional short form: Liechtenstein
local long form: Fuerstentum Liechtenstein
local short form: Liechtenstein


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