Monday, July 2, 2012

Liechtenstein's Prince victorious in Referendum

We reported previously on the attempt to introduce abortion in Liechtenstein and following its failure the attempt to remove the power of veto from the reigning Prince.
Photograph shows Princess Sophia and Prince Alois of Liechtenstein
The Independent now reports that the citizens of Liechtenstein gave their reigning prince a resounding vote of confidence yesterday in a referendum which flatly rejected attempts to curb the Princes royal power. 

Proposals to strip Liechtenstein's Prince Hans-Adam II, 67, of his power of parliamentary veto were opposed by 65 per cent of the country's 36,000 subjects in a referendum.

Only 15 per cent voted in favour of the proposal. Sigvard Wohlwend, one of the organisers of the referendum, said he was disappointed by the outcome. He described the prince and his son, Crown Prince Alois, 43, who has been acting in his father's stead since 2004, as "the most powerful monarchs in Europe.".

He said the prince of Liechtenstein held the absolute right to veto any decision taken by the parliament and people. "No judges can be appointed without the approval of the prince," he added.

The referendum was prompted by a national vote held last September on whether to decriminalise abortion in the mainly Catholic country. Days before the poll, Prince Alois, a Catholic himself, declared said he would use his power of veto to oppose any changes to the country's abortion ban, whatever voters decided.