May 15, 2022 Confirmed


Swiss Confederation


More Info:

At Stake in this Referendum: [1][2]

On 15 May 2022, Swiss voters will head to the polls to vote in favor or against three issues. Specifically, there will be three referenda* concerning the introduction of a streaming service tax, objection-based organ donation rules, and the expansion of Swiss participation in Frontex.

The questions on the ballot are as follows: 

Referendum 1: “Do you accept the amendment of 1 October 2021 to the Federal Act on Film Culture and Production (Film Act, CinA)?” 

Referendum 2: “Do you accept the amendment of 1 October 2021 to the Federal Act on the Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells (Transplantation Act)?” 

Referendum 3: “Do you accept the Federal Decree of 1 October 2021 on the approval and implementation of the exchange of notes between Switzerland and the European Union concerning the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 on the European Corps of Border Guards and Coastguards and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (development of the Schengen acquis)?” 

Swiss voters may indicate their preference by responding “YES” or “NO” to referendum questions. 

*Swiss federal referenda assume three forms. A mandatory referendum is held when the Swiss government is required by law to call a referendum in relation to certain political issues. Facultative or optional referenda are called if 50,000 signatures are collected within 100 days or if eight cantons submit a joint request for one to be held. Optional referenda concern new or amended federal acts or international treaties. Finally, federal popular initiatives can be presented as either a specific draft article or general proposal, the former of which occurs most regularly. Popular initiatives require 100,000 signatures to be launched and an additional declaration of approval from the Swiss Federal Assembly before reaching the public on an official ballot. [3][4]

Government Structure: 

  • Chief of State: President Ignazio CASSIS* (since 1 January 2022) 
  • Head of Government: President Ignazio CASSIS (since 1 January 2022) 
  • Assembly: Switzerland possesses a bicameral legislature called the Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale/Assamblea federala) consisting of the Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati/Cussegl dals Stadis) with 46 seats and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale/Cussegl naziunal) with 200 seats. 

*The Swiss government is comprised of the seven-member Federal Council, among whom the presidency rotates on a yearly basis. The current president, Ignazio CASSIS, was elected as a federal councillor on 20 September 2017. [5] The remaining Federal Council members include Alain BERSET, Ueli MAURER, Simonetta SOMMARUGA, Guy PARMELIN, Viola AMHERD, and Karin KELLER-SUTTER. [6]

Electoral System[7]

  • The President is appointed from within the seven-member Federal Council by parliament to serve a one-year term.
  • In the Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/Consiglio degli Stati/Cussegl dals Stadis), six members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies, 36 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies, and four members are elected by list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies. All 46 members serve four-years terms.** 
  • In the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale/Cussegl naziunal), 194 members are elected by open list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies and six members are elected by a plurality system to serve four-year terms.*** 

**Single-member districts correspond to former half-cantons while two-seat districts correspond to former full cantons. Voting occurs in a two-round system apart from Jura and Neuchâtel, where proportional representation prevails. 

***Seats are apportioned to each canton in proportion to the number of permanent residents residing there. Voting occurs using list proportional representation with panachage. 

Last Election: 

  • The previous election was a referendum held on 13 February 2022.  

Population and Registered Voters: 

  • Population: 8,508,698 (2022 est.) [8]
  • Registered Voters: 5,488,371 (2020) [9]

Gender Data: 

  • Female Population: 4,255,831(2022 est.) [10]
  • Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987) [11]
  • Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (ratified 27 March 1997) [12] 
  • Gender Quota: Gender quotas are voluntary and may be adopted by political parties; there is no legislated gender quota. [13]
  • Female candidates in this election: N/A 
  • Number of Female Legislators: 85 out of 200 [14]
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: Rank 2 at 0.955 (2020) [15]
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Very low [16]

Disability Data:

  • Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No [17]
  • Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: No (acceded on 15 April 2014) [18] 
  • Population with a disability: 1,218,275 (2022 est.) [19]

Elections in Switzerland