9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein, local Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR] - Referendum

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR]
Location
9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Political level
local
Local Name:
Referendum
Normative Level:
statutory
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

The Community Law of the Principality of Liechtenstein 

(Gemeindegesetz vom 20. März 1996, version of 29.04.2020)



IV. Organization

A. Community Assembly

1. General

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Art. 25

Position, duties and powers

1) The community assembly is the highest organ of the community. 

2) The community assembly has the following tasks and competences: 

[…]

n) Deciding upon referenda (Art. 41) and initiatives (Art. 42).

[…]


Art. 26

Resolutions

In all cases where this or another law provides for the calling or holding of a community meeting or a decision by the community citizens residing in the community, the community council can order a ballot instead.


2. Assembly


Art. 29

Chair

1) The community leader presides and leads the negotiations. If he is prevented from doing so, his deputy will represent him and, if he is unable to attend, the oldest member of the community council chairs the assembly. 

2) The chairman checks the eligibility to vote and the number of people present. He ensures the maintenance of peace and order.


Art. 30

Chair

Public The community meeting is open to the public. The chairman can prohibit the participation of persons not entitled to vote for important reasons.


Art. 31

Motions, votes 

1) Anyone entitled to vote can request the floor on the business being dealt with and submit a motion on the matter or the rules of procedure. 

2) Votes are carried out openly unless at least one eighth of the voters present or fifteen of the voters present demand a secret ballot. A simple majority of the valid votes is sufficient for a vote to be valid, unless otherwise stipulated by law. 

3) Elections are secret. A relative majority of votes is sufficient for the validity of elections, unless otherwise stipulated by law.

[…]

Art. 34

Resolutions

1) The community assembly has a quorum if one sixth of the voters are present. If this quorum is not achieved, a second municipal meeting must be called within six weeks, which acts regardless of the quorum.

2) The resolutions are passed by a simple majority of the voters. In the event of a tie, the motion for which the chairman votes, is accepted.

3) The resolutions become legally valid upon acceptance by those entitled to vote. If the resolutions require the approval of the government, they become legally valid upon publication.

[…]

B. Community Council

3. Votes by Ballot

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Art. 37

In the urn, the voters decide according to the same provisions as apply to state affairs, whereby a legally valid decision is made when one-sixth of the voters takes part in the vote.

[…]

Art. 41

Referendum

1) One sixth of those entitled to vote can request the treatment of resolutions by the municipal council at the municipal assembly by means of a substantiated written request if they exceed the maximum amount set in the municipal ordinance, which may range from 100,000 francs to 300,000 francs. These resolutions include: 

a) the purchase of land; 

b) the construction of community facilities and structures; 

c) the taking out of loans or the assumption of guarantees; 

d) the approval of new one-time and annual expenses; 

e) the approval of commitment and supplementary credits.

2) Regardless of the maximum amount stipulated in the municipal regulations, the following resolutions of the municipal council can be put to a referendum: 

a) the determination of the budget plan and the municipal tax surcharge; 

b) the approval of the municipal accounting and discharge of the organs; 

c) the enactment of zoning and building regulations; 

d) the initiation of a zoning plan and building land; 

e) the initiation of Levies; 

f) the sale and exchange of land

g) the appointment of independent building rights for a period of more than ten years. 

3) Requests for a referendum must be submitted to the community council president no later than 14 days after the decision has been announced. The deadline for submitting the required signatures is one month from the announcement of the resolution. 

4) Resolutions of the municipal council that are eligible for a referendum must be announced. 

5) A community meeting must take place within four months after the referendum request has been submitted. With the exception of the quorum, the procedure is based on the provisions that apply to the handling of items that fall within the jurisdiction of the municipal assembly.


Art. 43

Review of initiatives and referendums

The local council immediately reviews whether the formal and material requirements of an initiative or referendum request have been met. He rejects a request within one month if it is obviously illegal or relates to an item that falls within the jurisdiction of another municipal authority (subject to Art. 42) or a state authority.




The Community Statue of the Community of Vaduz

[…]

Art. 11

Referendum against local council resolutions

1) The following resolutions of the municipal council are subject to a referendum:

a) the determination of the estimate and the municipal tax surcharge;

b) the approval of the municipal accounts and discharge of the organs;

c) the issuing of zoning plans and municipal building regulations;

d) the initiation of a reallocation of building land; page 5 of 7

e) the collection of levies;

f) the sale and exchange of land;

g) the appointment of independent building rights for a duration of more than 10 years;

h) the purchase of land;

i) the construction of community facilities and structures;

j) taking out loans or providing guarantees;

k) the approval of new one-off and annually recurring expenses;

l) the approval of commitment and supplementary credits;

m) the establishment of communal institutions;

n) joining or leaving special-purpose associations.

2. Municipal council resolutions in accordance with para. 1 let. h, i, k, l and m are only subject to the referendum if they exceed the amount of CHF 100.000

Subject Matter:

Actors

Author:
Community Council
Initiator:
People
Decision maker:
People

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
1/6 of electorate
Available Time:
1 Month
Turnout Quorum:
None. According to Art. 41 (5) of the national law on municipalities, votes on referendums are exempt from the quorum provisions that exist for municipal assemblies or popular votes in general.
Approval Quorum:
Geographical Quorum:
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:
Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The referendum procedure represents a strong right of deciding on policy questions for citizens in the communities in Liechtenstein. The range of potential voting issues and the modalities of triggering a vote are described in Articles 41 and 43. One sixths of the electorate is entitled to launch a vote about a decision of the community council. This means that bottom-up and top-down elements are combined here. In terms of the navigator's typology, the instrument in question thus corresponds to a "citizen-initiated referendum".

The decision on a referendum question is again the responsibility of the municipal assembly as the highest organ of the community. Similar to the mandatory referendum, the actual decision on a referendum can be made directly in the municipal assembly or by a ballot. The municipal council decides which procedure is used. In both cases, for the validity of the decision a participation quorum of 1/6 of the electorate is prescribed. 

The community statute of the community of Vaduz specifies in Art. 11 the threshold for community expenses allowing for a referendum: 100.000 CHF. In addition to the national municipal law, the municipal code of Vaduz also provides for let. n before joining special-purpose associations.