Patrick Craine


Liechtenstein voters back prince who vowed to veto abortion legalization

Patrick Craine

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, July 4, 2012 ( – Voters in the Principality of Liechtenstein have overwhelmingly vindicated Crown Prince Alois in a crucial vote. In a referendum July 1st, 76% of voters in the small Alpine country opted to uphold the Crown Prince’s right of veto in all cases.

The referendum came about after the monarch threatened to veto the results of a separate referendum to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in September. That measure ultimately failed, making the prince’s veto unnecessary.

However, supporters of the pro-abortion measure nevertheless sought to curtail the prince’s power of veto only to legislation passed by the legislature, removing his power to veto referendums.

According to a spokeswoman, the devout Catholic prince intended his veto as a “clear signal that abortion isn’t an acceptable solution for an unwanted pregnancy.”

Though the prince had the power to veto even the referendum that sought to take away his veto, he had warned that the monarchy would step away from public life should the referendum pass, a move that many feared would undermine the country’s stability and affluence.

“The royal family is not willing to undertake its political responsibilities unless the prince… has the necessary tools at his disposal,” the prince said in March, according to Agence France-Presse. “But if the people are no longer open to that, then the royal family will not want to undertake its political responsibilities and ... will completely withdraw from political life.”


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