By FRANK JORDANS Associated Press
VADUZ, Liechtenstein—People in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein vote next week on whether to legalize abortion—but they know their voice may count for nothing.
The prince has already made up his mind.
Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, heir apparent to a billion-dollar banking dynasty and de facto ruler over 35,000 people, says he will exercise his veto if the people favor a referendum to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or if the child is severely disabled.
The announcement last month raised hackles in the Alpine nation. It comes as no revelation that the crown prince has inherited some of his father's strong Catholic views. But voters were surprised by the fact that Alois is prepared to overrule a popular vote if the outcome doesn't suit his taste.
"We think fewer people will vote because they'll ask themselves what's the point. It really is an attempt to actively influence the referendum," said Helen Konzett, who helped gather the 1,500 signatures necessary to call the vote, slated for Sept. 18.
In Liechtenstein, which is smaller than Washington, DC but has its own seat at the United Nations, interfering in a referendum is considered a criminal offense. Only not for the prince, who according to the constitution is immune from prosecution while in office....