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Liechtenstein goes to the polls

Voters in the Principality of Liechtenstein have cast their ballots in parliamentary elections. Polling stations were open for just one-and-a-half hours.

Polling stations in the microstate of Liechtenstein opened briefly on Sunday morning, with voters choosing representatives in a 25-seat parliament for a four-year term.

For decades, the country has been governed by two conservative parties - the currently ruling Progressive Citizens' Party (FBP) and the Patriotic Union (VU) - that have alternated in power.

The tiny country, wedged between Switzerland and Austria, has an estimated population of 37,000 and is known for its strong financial sector and winter sport resorts.

Powerful prince

In view of the small electorate, polling stations were open for just one-and-a-half hours.

Liechtenstein Fürst Hans-Adam II zu Deutschland (picture-alliance/dpa/A. Balzarini)

Prince Hans-Adam II ascended the throne in 2002

As a principality, Liechtenstein has as its head of state a Sovereign Prince - currently Hans-Adam II - who holds broad powers, including that of being able to appoint judges and dismiss ministers or governments.

On Thursday, the Finance Ministry in Switzerland said it had reached a deal with Liechtenstein on exchanging tax information in a bid to possibly uncover billions of dollars in undeclared assets held by Swiss citizens in the neighboring country. The two countries have monetary and customs unions.

Liechtenstein was in the past known as a billionaires' tax haven.

Watch video 04:35

Europe's Microstates: (3) Liechtenstein

tj/jlw (Reuters, dpa)

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