Sept. 23, 2018 Confirmed


Swiss Confederation


More Info:

Switzerland: Referendum, 23 September 2018  

At stake in this election:  

  • There are three separate pieces of legislation: the Federal Decree of 13 March 2018 on cycle paths, foot paths, and hiking trails; the Popular Initiative of 26 November 2015 (Fair Food Initiative); and the Popular Initiative of 30 March 2016 on food sovereignty.

Description of government structure:  

  • Chief of State: President Alain Berset* (since 1 January 2018) 

  • Head of Government: President Alain Berset 

  • Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly  (BBundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Ständerat/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 the 7 members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state.  

Electoral requirements:  

  • A majority of the popular vote and the cantons is required for popular initiatives to pass. A majority of the popular vote is required for the Federal Decrees to pass. 

About the referendum:  

  • The Federal Decree of 13 March 2018 would make cycling trails legally equivalent to walking and hiking trails. 

  • The Popular Initiative of 26 November 2015 (Fair Food Initiative) would establish guidelines for Swiss food production and imports. The guidelines would be aimed at reducing environmental harm and food waste, as well as making it fairly produced.

  • The Popular Initiative of 30 March 2016 on food sovereignty would mandate increased governmental support for and participation in local agriculture. The government would have to protect Swiss agriculture from imports, too, by tariffs and by prohibiting certain products.

Population and number of registered voters:  

  • Population: 8,179,294 (July 2016 est.) 
  • Registered Voters: 5,357,836 

Gender Data:  

  • Female Population: 4,145,195 (July 2016 est.) 
  • Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (since 23 January 1987) 
  • Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (since 27 March 1997) 
  • Gender Quota: No 
  • Female candidates in this election: N/A 
  • Number of Female Parliamentarians: 74 (29%) 
  • Human Development Index Position: 3 
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A 

Disability Data:  

  • Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: Yes 
  • Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes 
  • Population with a disability: 1,792,000