Decisions on constitutional amendments by the Swiss sovereign

by Thomas Fleiner

On May 18 the Swiss voters and the cantons had to decide on three popular initiatives. They adopted two constitutional proposals and rejected one initiative. On the same day the voters had also to decide on the acquisition of 22 Gripen, which are new military jets that Switzerland wanted to buy from Sweden for more than three billion francs. The Swiss legislature enacted a law to provide an endowment fund. Against this legislation, some people required a referendum. In the end, the peoples decided with 53% of the voters to reject this law.

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Recent constitutional decisions of the majority of the peoples and the cantons of Switzerland

by Thomas Fleiner

In Switzerland, any constitutional amendment can only enter into force when the double majority of the voters of Switzerland and the voters of the cantons have adopted the partial or the general revision of the constitution (Article 140 of the Swiss Constitution). Most constitutional revisions are proposed to the sovereign (majority of the national voters and of the cantonal voters) by the ordinary legislature that is a parliament with a national chamber and a chamber of the cantons.

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