Switzerland, 23.09.2019

Seventy-three Swiss nationals resident abroad stand for election to the National Council


British expats will be interested to know that as many as 73 Swiss nationals resident abroad are standing for election to the National Council this autumn.

Unlike Swiss expats, British expats who have lived outside the United Kingdom for longer than 15 years enjoy the same voting rights as HM The Queen, or prisoners detained at her pleasure; in other words, they lose their right to vote altogether.

In 2011, 77 Swiss nationals resident abroad stood for election to the National Council in Bern, the number going down to 57 in 2015, but rising by 16 more this year. Two-thirds of the 73 standing this year are men, and, with an average age of 50.8, they are 10.2 years older than the average Swiss-resident candidates.

52 of these candidates resident abroad live in other European states, for example 11 in France, 11 in Germany, and five in Italy; one other candidate lives in Austria, another in Liechtenstein. Eight live in Africa, five in Asia and three in North America. Not surprisingly, none of them is particularly well known in Switzerland.

Of note is that, in 2015, the former Swiss ambassador to Germany, Tim Guldimann of the SP party, was elected to a seat in the National Council.