Boost for expat seat in parliament

Plans for a guaranteed parliamentary representation of the Swiss abroad community are edging forward.

This content was published on September 24, 2008 minutes

The House of Representatives approved a proposal by Social Democrat Carlo Sommaruga from Geneva to create the legal basis to enable Swiss living abroad to be elected to either of the two parliamentary chambers.

The Senate still has to discuss the issue.

Sommaruga said expatriates currently had very little chance of being elected to parliament. Last year 45 candidates stood in elections on lists in their cantons of origin, but none of them were successful.

Opponents argued that it was not justified to set up a special constituency for citizens spread across the globe to create a virtual 27th canton.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) has welcomed the decision. It has also been campaigning for the introduction of e-voting and other measures to facilitate participation in ballots.

About 700,000 Swiss nationals live outside Switzerland, of whom more than 120,000 have registered to vote.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?