Volltext: Elections in Europe

1158 Liechtenstein 
1.2 Evolution of Electoral Provisions 
It was not until the 19th century that a parliament (Landtag) was estab- 
lished in Liechtenstein. The 1862 constitution created a parliament con- 
sisting of 15 delegates, 12 of which were selected by electors and 3 ap- 
pointed by the prince. Men 24 years of age or older were entitled to 
vote, provided they were self-employed, that is, they were independent 
farmers or otherwise independent. Thus, farm laborers were not entitled 
to vote. 
In 1878, suffrage was expanded to all men in possession of full civil 
rights. By the same law, Liechtenstein was divided into two constituen- 
cies, which were formed along the historical territories: Oberland (for- 
mer Vaduz shire) and Unterland (former Schellenberg dominion). This 
administrative structure has been maintained into the present. Further- 
more, the length of term was shortened from six to four years. 
From 1918 on, the 12 representatives formerly chosen by electors 
were directly elected by the people using a majoritarian system. There 
were two constituencies, Oberland and Unterland. In the former, seven 
seats plus three substitutes were elected, while in the latter it was five 
plus two substitutes. On Election Day the registered voters assembled in 
the polling station and each of them wrote a list of up to seven or five 
names respectively of eligible candidates on the ballot. Then, every vot- 
er was called by his name to deposit his ballot in the voting box. The 
candidates who were chosen by a majority of voters were elected. In 
case less then seven (or five) candidates achieved such a majority a ru- 
noff took place, in which candidates who received the most votes short 
of a majority in the first round participated. The number of candidates 
for the second round was twice the number of remaining seats. 
This new electoral law, particularly the provision of direct elections, 
provided the basis for the creation of the first parties. Later the same 
year elections to the parliament took place, at which two recently 
created parties participated. Therefore, tables in the data section start 
with 1918. 
With the 1921 constitution, the provision allowing the prince to ap- 
point three representatives was abolished. All 15 delegates were elected 
directly by the people (9 in the Oberland, 6 in the Unterland). Voting 
age was lowered to 21, but still only men were entitled to vote. 
The majority principle led to strong distortions in parliamentary repre- 
sentation. Up to the 1950s only two parties, whose electoral support dif- 
fered in the two constituencies, put up candidates at all. The general 
tendency was for one party to win all the mandates in the Oberland and


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