Candidates for October’s elections to the Swiss parliament are coming under scrutiny from the expatriate Swiss community.
The Council of the Swiss Abroad, during a Saturday meeting held in the Swiss capital, Bern, approved an election manifesto. The charter lays out a procedure to recommend candidates and political parties for the forthcoming national elections.
“In an election year, it is more important than ever to defend the interests of Swiss Abroad and to remind politicians that the expatriate community has a say,” said Remo Gysin, president of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA)external link.
It is the first time in the 103-year history of the OSA that it launches such a vetting procedure.
Candidates are asked to state their position on topics of particular relevance to expatriate Swiss, notably the right to vote, international mobility, Switzerland’s consular network and the policy of Swiss banks with expat clients, according to an OSA statement.
Details of the screening process will be hammered out at the next council meeting scheduled for August, ahead of the annual Congress of the Swiss Abroad.
The expatriate Swiss community has no formal representative in parliament, after the resignation of Tim Guldimann a year ago. However, several parliamentarians from all the main parties sit on the Swiss Abroad Council and act as lobbyists for the ASO in parliament.
Swiss parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 20.