The Constitution declares that Switzerland guarantees the exercise of political rights in the
form of a direct, federative democracy. The Swiss Constitution confers sovereignty, i.e.
supreme political power, on the population, which elects parliament. Parliament, in its turn,
elects the members of the government (Federal Council). The legislative (Federal Assembly) is composed of two equal chambers, viz. the Council of States (with 46 members representing the cantons) and the National Council (200 members allocated according to the
strength of the party).
The Federal Supreme Court is appointed by the Federal Assembly.
The four main political parties are the following: the Swiss People's Party, the Radicals,
the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats.
Each canton has its own constitution, parliament, government and courts. Within the can
tons, approximately 2,900 communes also enjoy a certain degree of autonomy.
The highest judicial power is invested in the Federal Supreme Court with its seat in
Lausanne. The Federal Criminal Court has its seat in Bellinzona. A Federal Administrative
Court is under construction in St Gallen.
Swiss Internet portal: www.ch.ch
Directory of authorities: www.admin.ch