Mandatory referendum

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A poster in support of the admission of Switzerland in the League of Nations (1920). Switzerland joined the United Nations in 2002.
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The mandatory referendum (German: obligatorisches Referendum, French: référendum obligatoire, Italian: referendum obbligatorio, Romansh: referendum obligatoric) is an instrument of direct democracy in Switzerland. It is a mechanism that holds mandatory votation of some decisions of the federal, cantonal, or municipal parliament and/or government, such as modifications of the Constitution or adhesion to supranational communities on a federal or cantonal level, or for example substantial financial decisions decreed by cantonal and/or communal executive and/or legislative bodies.[1]

In the case of amendments to the federal constitution any change to the law requires both a majority of the valid votes cast and the majority of the cantons (double majority).

See also[edit]


  • Vincent Golay and Mix et Remix, Swiss political institutions, Éditions loisirs et pédagogie, 2008. ISBN 978-2-606-01295-3.


  1. ^ "Referendums". - A service of the Confederation, cantons and communes. Berne, Switzerland: Swiss Confederation. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2017.

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