Referendum launched to dissolve parliament and rewrite Swiss constitution
A new popular referendum has been created with quite a dramatic goal: to dissolve the Swiss parliament and rewrite the Federal Constitution. The private group of individuals launched their new vote last Wednesday, promising dramatic reform to the current constitution, which was most recently revised in 1999.
Vote hopes to enshrine key rights and liberties into Swiss constitution
The leader of the initiative, Pius Lischer, said, “We want the constitution to become the authoritative law." Advocates for the vote are concerned that current statutes and international law have taken precedence over Swiss law and the Federal Supreme Court, and that certain new rights and benefits need to be enshrined in the constitution.
The text of the referendum calls for a new document that would “guarantee freedom, equal opportunities, health and sustainability.” The concept includes demands for "a sustainable, just future without compulsory levies and taxes," and proposes supplementing Swiss social security and pensions with a universal basic income. If the referendum is successful, the Swiss parliament would be dissolved and a fresh round of elections would take place.
The Swiss Federal Assembly and Federal Council could be re-elected
Lischer confirmed that anyone who supported the referendum would be able to run for the Federal Assembly, in the event of a successful vote. These signatories would then be allowed to re-write the constitution as they saw fit and re-elect the executive Federal Council.
If the vote succeeds, Swiss cantons would vote on whether they want a new constitution or not. If a majority wants to rewrite the document, the newly elected Federal Assembly would be tasked with drafting it, not the referendum advocates specifically. The committee now has until October 19, 2023 to gather the signatures needed to make the vote happen.