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Principality of Liechtenstein
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Government 

According to the Constitution, the Government is a collegial body consisting of five Ministers including the Prime Minister. Each Minister has an Alternate who takes part in the meetings of the collegial Government if the Minister is unavailable. The Prime Minister, the other Ministers, and their Alternates are appointed by the Reigning Prince on the recommendation of Parliament. On the recommendation of Parliament, the Reigning Prince appoints one of the Ministers as Deputy Prime Minister. Only native Liechtenstein citizens who meet the requirements for election to Parliament are eligible for election to the Government. Each of the two regions of Liechtenstein, the Oberland (Upper Country) and the Unterland (Lower Country) is entitled to at least two Ministers. Their respective Alternates must come from the same region. The term of office is four years.

Women are better represented in the current Government (2005 - 2009) than in the other political organs: one Minister is a woman and there are three female Alternate Ministers.

Decisions of the Government
According to the Constitution, all important responsibilities assigned to the Government, in particular the settlement of administrative disputes, are subject to collegial discussion and decision-making. A valid decision requires the presence of at least four Ministers and the support of the majority of the Ministers present. In case of a tie vote, the chairing Minister decides. Voting is compulsory.

Position of the Prime Minister
The Constitution assigns special privileges and authority to the Prime Minister: He is responsible for the duties directly assigned to him by the Reigning Prince, for the countersigning of laws, as well as for the countersigning of enactments and orders issued by the Reigning Prince or his Regent. He informs the Reigning Prince about Government business. Only the Prime Minister deposits the oath of office into the hands of the Reigning Prince or the Regent. The Prime Minister takes the oath of office from the other Ministers and public employees. A law, an ordinance, and a Princely resolution can enter into force or become valid only with his signature.

Background
From 1938 to 1997, Liechtenstein had a special Government system. Until a few years ago, only two parties were represented in the Parliament: the Patriotic Union (Vaterländische Union, VU) and the Progressive Citizens'
Party (Fortschrittliche Bürgerpartei, FBP). The party winning the majority in Parliament also provided the majority of Ministers. The minority party acted as the opposition in Parliament and as the junior coalition partner in the Government. This Liechtenstein form of coalition government came to an end in April 1997. From 1997 to 2001, the Patriotic Union was solely responsible for Government business and provided all Ministers. From 2001 to 2005, all Ministers have been from the Progressive Citizens' Party. Since 2005, Liechtensten has a coalition government again: three Ministers are from the Progressive People's Party, two Ministers are form the Patriotic Union. The minority parties counterbalance the Government as opposition parties in Parliament and in parliamentary committees.

The seat of the Government in Vaduz is commonly referred to as the "Large House"
The seat of the Government in
Vaduz is commonly referred
to as the "Large House"


The Government of Liechtenstein:
a collective authority with a
Prime Minister and four
additional Ministers (picture:
Government team 2005-2009)

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