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    Switzerland Government 1998

      Country name
      conventional long form: Swiss Confederation
      conventional short form: Switzerland
      local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German), Confederation Suisse (French), Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
      local short form: Schweiz (German), Suisse (French), Svizzera (Italian)

      Data code SZ

      Government type federal republic

      National capital Bern

      Administrative divisions 26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; kantone, singular - kanton in German); Aargau, Ausser-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubunden, Inner-Rhoden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich

      Independence 1 August 1291

      National holiday Anniversary of the Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)

      Constitution 29 May 1874

      Legal system civil law system influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts, except with respect to federal decrees of general obligatory character; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

      Suffrage 18 years of age; universal

      Executive branch
      chief of state: President Flavio COTTI (since 1 January 1998); Vice President Ruth DREIFUSS (since 1 January 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
      head of government: President Flavio COTTI (since 1 January 1998); Vice President Ruth DREIFUSS (since 1 January 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
      cabinet: Federal Council or German - Bundesrat, French - Conseil Federal, Italian - Consiglio Federale elected by the Federal Assembly from among its own members for a four-year term
      elections: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Federal Council for one-year terms that run concurrently; election last held 10 December 1997 (next to be held NA December 1998)
      election results: Flavio COTTI elected president; percent of Federal Assembly vote - Flavio COTTI 90%; Ruth DREIFUSS elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - Ruth DREIFUSS 69%

      Legislative branch bicameral Federal Assembly or German - Bundesversammlung, French - Assemblee Federale, Italian - Assemblea Federale consists of the Council of States or German - Standerat, French - Conseil des Etats, Italian - Consiglio degli Stati (46 seats; members are elected two from each canton and one from each half canton to serve four-year terms) and the National Council or German - Nationalrat, French - Conseil National, Italian - Consiglio Nazionale (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
      elections: Council of States - last held throughout 1997 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held 20 October 1995 (next to be held probably 24 October 1999)
      election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FDP 17, CVP 16, SVP 5, SPS 5, LPS 2, LdU 1; National Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FDP 45, SPS 54, CVP 34, SVP 29, Greens 9, LPS 7, FPS 7, LdU 3, EVP 2, SD 3, PdAdS 3, Ticino League 1, EDU 1, FRAP 1, CSP 1

      Judicial branch Federal Supreme Court, judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly

      Political parties and leaders Radical Free Democratic Party (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz or FDP, Parti Radical-Democratique Suisse or PRD, Partitio Liberal-Radicale Svizzero or PLR) [Franz STEINEGGER, president]; Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialist Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Ursula KOCH, president]; Christian Democratic People's Party (Christichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Democratico-Cristiano Popolare Svizzero or PDC, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Adalbert DURRER, president]; Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica de Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica da Center or UDC) [Ueli MAURER, president]; Green Party (Grune Partei der Schweiz or Grune, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Ruedi BAUMANN, president]; Freedom Party or FPS [Roland BORER]; Liberal Party (Liberale Partei der Schweiz or LPS, Parti Liberal Suisse or PLS, Partito Liberale Svizzero or PLS) [Francois Jeanneset, president]; Alliance of Independents' Party (Landesring der Unabhaengigen or LdU, Alliance des Independants or AdI) [Daniel ANDRES, president]; Ticino League (Lega dei Ticinesi) [Giuliano BIGNASCA, president]; and other minor parties including Swiss Democratic Party (Schweizer Demokraten or SD, Democrates Suisses or DS, Democratici Svizzeri or DS), Workers' Party (Parti Suisse du Travail or PST, Partei der Arbeit der Schweiz or PdAdS, Partito Svizzero del Lavoro or PSdL), Evangelical People's Party (Evangelische Volkspartei der Schweiz or EVP, Parti Evangelique Suisse or PEV, Partito Evangelico Svizzero or PEV), and the Union of Federal Democrats (Eidgenossisch-Demokratische Union or EDU, Union Democratique Federale or UDF, Unione Democratica Federale or UDF); note - see elections

      International organization participation ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, ESA, FAO, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MTCR, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Alfred DEFAGO (since April 1997)
      chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900
      FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564
      consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

      Diplomatic representation from the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Madeleine May KUNIN (since 8 August 1996)
      embassy: Jubilaeumstrasse 93, 3005 Bern
      mailing address: use embassy street address
      telephone: [41] (31) 357 70 11
      FAX: [41] (31) 357 73 44

      Flag description red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag

      NOTE: The information regarding Switzerland on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Switzerland Government 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Switzerland Government 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
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