Liechtenstein constitutional referendum, 2012

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A constitutional referendum was held in Liechtenstein on 1 July 2012[1] concerning limiting the extensive veto powers held by the Prince of Liechtenstein. The proposals were rejected by 76% of voters.[1]

Background[edit]

Prior to the 2011 referendum on abortion, Regent Alois had threatened to veto the change to the law to allow voluntary abortion in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy even if the referendum passed.[1][2]

The question was agreed on 9 February, and 1,732 signatures were collected between 29 March and 9 May.[1] Of these, 1,726 were declared valid, exceeding the 1,500 required to force a referendum.[1] The Landtag rejected the law on 23 May by a vote of 18 to 7 and subsequently set the date of the referendum.[1]

Proposed changes[edit]

The proposed changes would have modified articles 9, 65, 66 and 112 of the constitution.[1] Article 9 stated "Every law requires for its validity the sanction of the Prince", and would have been amended to add "or approval in a referendum." Article 65 would have had the sentence "If the sanction of the Prince is not received within six months, it shall be deemed to be denied" removed.[1]

Campaign[edit]

As a result, the "Damit deine Stimme zählt" ("So that your voice counts") initiative was launched to change the constitution to prevent the Prince from vetoing legislation approved in referenda.[1] To counter the campaign, opponents of the change set up a group called "Für Gott, Fürst und Vaterland" ("For God, prince and fatherland").[3]

The Royal family threatened to veto the referendum if it resulted in a vote in favour of removing the veto,[4] whilst Alois threatened to resign if it passed.[5]

Results[edit]

Liechtenstein constitutional referendum, 2012
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 11,681 76.43
Yes 3,602 23.57
Valid votes 15,283 96.69
Invalid or blank votes 524 3.31
Total votes 15,807 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 19,076 82.89
Source: Direct Democracy

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Liechtenstein, 1 July 2012: Decreased veto of the Prince Direct Democracy (German)
  2. ^ Liechtenstein, 18 September 2011: deadline solution to abortion Direct Democracy (German)
  3. ^ Copley, Caroline (July 1, 2012). "Liechtenstein: ‘For God, the prince and the country’". Glode and Mail (Vaduz). Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Liechtenstein royals rejects plan to remove veto CBS News, 11 February 2012
  5. ^ Liechtenstein votes to keep royal veto The Local, 2 July 2012