Landtag (provincial diet), body of representatives of a federal province in Austria, elected according to the same principles as the Nationalrat (National Council). Members are elected by universal, equal, direct, secret and personal ballot according to the principles of proportional representation as set out in the regulations of electoral procedure in the provinces. Eligible to vote are all citizens of a province, i.e. all Austrian citizens who have their main residence in the respective province. The right to vote can be extended to all Austrian citizens who have a residence in the province which is not their main residence. The legislative period of the Landtag is 6 years in Upper Austria, in all other federal provinces 5 years. The number of members of the Landtag is fixed in provincial law. Rules of procedure are laid down in the Constitutions, Provincial and the law for rules of procedure of the Landtag. Sittings are public. Members of the Landtag are, like members of the Nationalrat, not bound to a mandate ("free mandate") and enjoy the same parliamentary privilege.
The Landtag has the following tasks: passing of provincial laws, approval of provincial budget proposals and provincial budget, election of the Landeshauptmann, of the other members of the Provincial Government and of the representatives of the province in the Bundesrat, political supervision of the Administration, Provincial. The Landtag can dissolve itself (simple majority decision or provincial law) or the federal government can file a petition with consent of the Bundesrat and the federal president then dissolves the Landtag.
Landtag was the name of the assemblies of the Estates, Provincial until 1848 and of the representative bodies of the Crownlands, which were constituted with a system of class voting, the electorate was divided into curiae (socio-economic classes), according to the Landesordnungen of the February Patent between 1861 and 1914.
Literature: F. Koja, Das Verfassungsrecht der österreichischen Bundesländer, 1967.