The Federal Authorities
of the Swiss Confederation

161.1

English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.

Federal Act
on Political Rights

of 17 December 1976 (Status as of 1 January 2013)

The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation,

on the basis of Articles 44, 66, 72–74, 90 and 122 of the Federal Constitution1,2 and having considered a Federal Council Dispatch dated 9 April 19753,

decrees:

Title 1: Right to Vote and Voting

Art. 1

Art. 2 Ineligibility to vote

Art. 3 Political domicile

Art. 4 Electoral register

Art. 5 Principles of voting

Art. 6 Voting by persons with disabilities

Art. 7 Advance voting

Art. 8 Postal voting

Art. 8a Electronic voting

Art. 9

Title 2: Votes

Art. 10 Organisation

Art. 10a Information for persons eligible to vote

Art. 11 Proposals submitted to a vote of the People, ballot papers and explanatory statements

Art. 12 Invalid ballot papers

Art. 13 Determination of the result of the vote

Art. 14 Report on the vote

Art. 15 Validation and publication of the result of the vote

Title 3: Election of the National Council

Chapter 1: General

Art. 16 Allocation of seats to the cantons

Art. 17 Allocation procedure

Art. 18

Art. 19 Date of the election

Art. 20 Drawing of lots

Art. 20a

Chapter 2: Elections based on a System of Proportional Representation

Chapter 3: Simple Majority System

Art. 47 Procedure

Art. 48 Ballot papers

Art. 49 Invalid ballot papers

Art. 50 Cantons with the possibility of a tacit election

Art. 51 By-elections

Chapter 4: Publication and Validation of Election Results

Art. 52 Notice of election; Publication of the election results

Art. 53 Validation of the election results

Chapter 5: Changes during the Legislative Period

Art. 54 Resignation

Art. 55 Substitution

Art. 56 Supplementary election

Art. 57 End of the legislative period

Title 4:4 The Referendum

Chapter 1: Mandatory Referendum

Art. 58 Publication

Chapter 2: The Optional Referendum

Section 3: Referendum requested by the Cantons8

Art. 67 Competence

Art. 67a Form

Art. 67b Successful request

Title 5:9 The Popular Initiative

Art. 68 Signature lists

Art. 69 Preliminary examination

Art. 69a Online signature lists

Art. 70 Further provisions

Art. 71 Submission

Art. 72 Successful request for a popular initiative

Art. 73 Withdrawal

Art. 73a Unconditional and conditional withdrawal

Art. 74

Art. 75 Examination of validity

Art. 75a Vote

Art. 76 Direct counter-proposal

Title 5a:10 Register of Political Parties

Art. 76a

Title 6: Rights of Appeal

Art. 77 Appeals

Art. 78 Appeal petition

Art. 79 Appeal decisions and rulings

Art. 80 Appeal to the Federal Supreme Court

Art. 81 and 82

Title 7: General Provisions

Art. 83 Cantonal law

Art. 84 Use of technical aids

Art. 85

Art. 86 Administrative procedures: no fees or costs

Art. 87 Statistical surveys

Title 8: Final Provisions

Chapter 1: Amendment and Repeal of Current Legislation

Art. 88 Amendment of federal acts

Art. 89 Repeal of federal acts

Chapter 2: Transitional Provisions, Implementation and Commencement

Art. 90 Transitional provisions

Art. 90a Transitional provision on the Amendment of 25 September 2009

Art. 91 Implementation

Art. 92 Referendum and commencement

Commencement Date: 1 July 197811


 AS 1978 688


1 [BS 1 3; AS 1962 1695, 1971 329, 1984 290]. The provisions mentioned now correspond to Articles 39, 136, 149 and 192 of the Federal Constitution of 18 April 1999 (BV – SR 101).
2 Amended by No I of the Ordinance of 8 Oct. 1999, in force since 1 March 2000 (AS 2000 411 413; BBl 1999 7922).
3 BBl 1975 I 1317
4 The provisions of the 4th Title (Art. 59–67) of the Act revised by the Federal Act of 21 June 1996 (AS 1997 753) apply only to legislation passed by the Federal Assembly after 31 March 1997 (AS 1997 760 Art. 2 para. 1).
5 Inserted by No I of the Federal Act of 21 June 1996, in force since 1 April 1997 (AS 1997 753 759; BBl 1993 III 445).
6 Repealed by No II 4 of the Federal Act of 20 March 2008 on Formal Revision of Federal Legislation (AS 2008 3437 3440, BBl 2007 6121).
7 Inserted by No I of the Federal Act of 21 June 1996, in force since 1 April 1997 (AS 1997 753 759; BBl 1993 III 445).
8 Inserted by No I of the Federal Act of 21 June 1996, in force since 1 April 1997 (AS 1997 753 759; BBl 1993 III 445).
9 The provisions of the 5th Title (Art. 68–74) of the Act revised by the Federal Act of 21 June 1996 (AS 1997 753) apply only to popular initiatives where the collection of signatures began after 31 March 1997 (AS 1997 760 Art. 2 para. 2).
10 Inserted by No I of the Federal Act of 21 June 2002, in force since 1 Jan. 2003 (AS 2002 3193 3199; BBl 2001 6401).
11 Federal Council Decree of 24 May 1978 (AS 1978 711)

English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.

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