Liechtenstein constitutional referendum, 2003

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A constitutional referendum regarding the Prince’s powers was held in Liechtenstein on 14 March 2003. The referendum had two questions; a "Princely Initiative" and a "Constitution Peace Initiative".[1] The first question passed with 64.32% in favour and the second question was rejected by 83.44% of voters.[2]

The Princely Initiative asked voters whether or not to approve an extension of the power of the Prince to dismiss the government, nominate judges and veto legislation. The Constitution Peace Initiative asked voters whether to approve or disapprove of constitutional modifications, including modifications which would have restricted the Prince’s powers.[3] The BBC stated that the referendum in effect made Liechtenstein into an "absolute monarchy".[4] In December 2012 the Venice commission of the Council of Europe published a comprehensive report analysing the amendments, opining that they were not compatible with the European standard of democracy.[5] Prince Hans-Adam II had threatened to leave the country and live in exile in Vienna, Austria if the voters had chosen to restrict his powers.[6]


Princely Initiative[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 9,412 64.3
Against 5,221 35.7
Invalid/blank votes 212
Total 14,845 100
Registered voters/turnout 16,932 87.7
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Constitution Peace Initiative[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 2,394 16.6
Against 12,065 83.4
Invalid/blank votes 386
Total 14,845 100
Registered voters/turnout 16,932 87.7
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1173 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ "Referendum Results". IFES Election Guide. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  3. ^ "Election Profile". IFES Election Guide. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  4. ^ "Liechtenstein prince wins powers". BBC News. 2003-03-16. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  5. ^ Opinion on the amendments to the constitution of Liechtenstein proposed by the Princely House of Liechtenstein Venice Commission
  6. ^ "Calendar of Events for March 16, 2003". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 

External links[edit]