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World > Europe > Liechtenstein > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Liechtenstein - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT
According to the Constitution, the government is a collegial body and consists of the head of government and four governmental councilors. The head of government and ministers are appointed by the Prince, following the proposals of the Parliament.

Amendments to the constitution and new laws have to be adopted by parliament, signed by both the Prince and the Head of Government, and published in the Principality's Law Gazette.

Prince Hans Adam II is the Head of State. He is entitled to exercise his right to state leadership in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and of other laws. On August 15, 2004 Prince Hans-Adam II entrusted Hereditary Prince Alois as his representative with the exercise of all sovereign rights pertaining to him, in accordance with the Liechtenstein Constitution.

He represents the state vis--vis foreign states. He signs international treaties either in person or delegates this function to a plenipotentiary. In accordance with international law, some treaties only become valid when they have been ratified by parliament.

The Prince's involvement in legislation includes the right to take initiatives in the form of government bills and the right to veto parliamentary proposals.

The Prince has the power to enact princely decrees. Emergency princely decrees are possible when the security and welfare of the country is at stake. A countersignature by the Head of Government is required.

The Prince has the right to convene and adjourn parliament and, for serious reasons, to adjourn it for three months or to dissolve it.

The Prince nominates the government, district and high court judges, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the presidents and their deputies of the Constitutional Court and of the Administrative Court of Appeal on the basis of the names put forward by parliament.

The Prince's other authorities include mitigating and commuting punishments that have been imposed with legal force and the abolition--i.e. the dismissal--of investigations that have been initiated. All judgments are issued in the name of the Prince.


Citizens elect the parliament directly under a system of proportional representation. Until 1989, 15 members represented the population of the two constituencies (6 for the lowland area and 9 for the highland area). Since 1989 the lowland constituency has been entitled to have 10 members and the highland area 15 members.


The Parliament's main task is to discuss and adopt resolutions on constitutional proposals and draft government bills. It has the additional duties of giving its assent to important international treaties, of electing members of the government, judges and board members of the Principality's institutions, setting the annual budget and approving taxes and other public charges, and supervising the administration of the state.


The Parliament observes its rights and duties in the course of sessions of the whole parliament and through the parliamentary commissions that it elects. All members of parliament exercise their mandates in addition to their normal professions or occupations. The President of parliament and his deputy are both elected at the opening meeting for the current year. The President convenes the individual meetings during the session, leads them and represents parliament externally.


During the parliamentary recess--normally from January to February/March--a 'state committee' assumes parliament's duties, and such a committee must also be elected in the case of any adjournment or dissolution of parliament. A 'state committee' consists of the President of parliament and four other members.


The duties and working procedures of parliament are laid down in the constitution and in parliament's standing orders.


The government of Liechtenstein is based on the principle of collegiality. The government consists of the Head of Government and four Councilors. The members of the government are proposed by the parliament and are appointed by the Prince. Only men or women born in Liechtenstein, and who are eligible to be elected to parliament, may be elected to the government committee. The two electoral areas of the country, the highlands and the lowlands, are entitled to at least two members of the government, and their respective deputies must come from the same area.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Swiss Franc Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Swiss Franc Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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