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Switzerland votes

On October 19, the Swiss go to the polls to elect a new House of Representatives and a majority of the Senate. Parliamentary elections take place every four years.

The key issues during the election campaign, and those likely to dominate the next parliament, are the economy, pensions and health.

Since taking over the interior ministry in January, Pascal Couchepin of the Radical Party has broken taboos over healthcare and pensions – his most radical suggestion has been to raise the retirement age to 67.

The euro-sceptic Swiss People’s Party is also doing its best to make an issue of Swiss relations with the European Union. The party, like most Swiss, is firmly against membership. But the other three main parties, which would like to join, are trying to steer clear of the issue at this election.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR