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Who can stand for election to the National Council?

Anyone wanting to stand for election to the National Council has to meet strict conditions. The Swiss abroad must meet special requirements.

The Federal Constitution sets out the basic criteria on political rights and standing for election. Candidates should: 

  • be Swiss citizens,
  • be at least 18 years old,
  • not be under guardianship or other form of deputyship because of mental illness or mental incapacity.
Art. 136 Political rights
Art. 143 Eligibility for election

Young candidates

It is still possible to stand as a candidate for election if you are under the age of 18, provided you have turned 18 by the day of the election itself (on 20.10.2019 for the next election).

First-time voters

Swiss abroad: standing as a candidate for election to the National Council

The Federal Constitution provides that any citizen who is entitled to vote in Switzerland may stand as a candidate for election to the National Council.
The Swiss abroad enjoy this right, provided they meet the conditions mentioned above.
They must also:

  • be domiciled abroad;
  • indicate the commune in which they have the right to vote. In general, this is the last commune in which they lived in Switzerland. If the Swiss person living abroad has never lived in Switzerland, the electoral commune is the place of origin;
  • be registered in this commune by an official at the competent Swiss diplomatic mission (Swiss embassy or consulate general abroad) so that they can be recorded in the register of Swiss abroad;
  • be registered on the electoral roll of their commune by an official of the competent Swiss diplomatic mission.

Taking part in cantonal ballots: Swiss living abroad

Swiss diplomatic/consular missions abroad

Voting rights for the Swiss abroad

Swiss Abroad Act
Swiss Abroad Ordinance
Information - Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last modification: november 2019