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Boosting voting rights for Swiss abroad

A parliamentary committee has narrowly come out against a proposal to enhance the voter representation of the Swiss abroad.

The committee was split on the issue of whether non-resident Swiss should be granted a separate constituency and two seats in the Senate. With the casting vote of its speaker, it decided against, according to an official statement.

The House of Representatives – and possibly the Senate – will vote on the proposal by Geneva-based Social Democrat Carlo Sommaruga at a later date.

The committee agreed to improve access for expatriates to ballots in Switzerland, but gave no further details.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) has repeatedly called for the introduction of online voting, but it is sceptical about a separate constituency for expatriates.

The Swiss abroad have the right to vote in federal and some cantonal elections.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR