The Federal Assembly
(, , , ), is Switzerland
's federal parliament
. It meets in Bern
in the Federal Palace
The Federal Assembly is bicameral
, being composed of the 200-seat National Council
and the 46-seat Council of States
. The houses have identical powers. Members of both houses represent the cantons
, but, whereas seats in the National Council are distributed in proportion to population, each canton has two seats in the Council of States, except the six 'half-cantons
' which have one seat each. Both are elected in full once every four years, with the last election
being held in 2007.
The Federal Assembly possesses the federal government's legislative power, along with the separate constitutional right of citizen's initiative
. For a law to pass, it must be passed by both houses. The Federal Assembly may come together as a United Federal Assembly
in certain circumstances, including to elect the Federal Council
, the Federal Chancellor
, a General
(Swiss generals are only selected in times of great national danger), or federal judges.
The Federal Assembly is made up of two chambers:
Seats in the National Council are allocated to the cantons
proportionally, based on population. In the Council of States, every canton has two seats (except for the former "half-cantons", which have one seat each).
United Federal Assembly
On occasions the two houses sit jointly as the... Read More