At stake in this Referendum:
- Voters will vote in two nationwide polls; one, regarding an initiative to hold direct elections for the Federal Assembly, and a referendum on an amendment to the Asylum Act to expedite the asylum process.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Ulrich "Ueli" MAURER *
- Head of Government: President Ulrich "Ueli" MAURER
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats* and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats**.
* The Federal Presidency rotates among members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state.
* Single-member districts correspond to the former half-cantons. The electoral system is first-past-the-post. Two-seat districts correspond to full cantons. The electoral system is MNTV.
** Seats are apportioned to each canton in proportion to its population. Voters have the option of panachage. In single-member districts, this is effectively a first-past-the-post system.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- Popular Initiative "Election by the People of the Federal Council" An initiative to reform elections for the Federal Council. Presently, elections are held indirectly by the Federal Assembly, wherein the initiative would move towards direct elections.
- Amendment to the Asylum Act (AsylA) A referendum to approve the Parliament’s new procedure on asylum. The new procedure is designed to expedite the asylum process.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 8,089,346 (2013)
- Registered Voters: 5,139,055 (March 2012)
· Female Population: 4,091,510 (2013)
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)
· Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 57 (National Council); 9 (Council of States) following the 2011 elections
· Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No
· Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 April 2014)
· Population with a disability: 1,213,401 (est.)