The members of the Federal Council are elected for a term of four years by both chambers of the federal parliament sitting together as the Federal Assembly. Each Councillor is elected individually by secret ballot by an absolute majority of votes. A person elected to the Council by the Federal Assembly is considered a Federal Councillor even if he or she declines the election. Accordingly, the five persons who did so and never assumed office are listed in a separate table below. For the same reason, the principal table only records the date of election, and not the date on which the Councillors assumed their office.
Once elected for a four-year-term, Federal Councillors can neither be voted out of office by a motion of no confidence nor can they be impeached. Re-election is possible for an indefinite number of terms. Parliament has decided not to re-elect a sitting Councillor only four times, and only twice (in 2003 and 2007) since the beginning of... Read More