Greens make big gains in latest Swiss parliamentary elections

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GENEVA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Green parties made historic gains in Swiss parliamentary elections on Sunday with the Greens more than doubling their representation in the bigger chamber of the two-chamber parliament.

Final results showed that the left-wing Green Party won 13 percent of the vote for the National Council, up nearly 6 percentage points compared with their best result ever in 2015. The centrist Liberal Greens also increased their share of the vote to 7.9 percent from 4.6 percent.

"People want a more environmentally-friendly policy and the result of the vote should also be reflected in the government," said Green Party President Regula Rytz.

The Greens leapfrogged the centrist Christian Democrats Party to become the fourth largest group in the National Council, with the right-wing People's Party remaining the largest group, followed by the left-wing Social Democrats and the right-leaning Radical Liberals Party.

The final results were consistent with the prediction of Andreas Ladner, a professor at the University of Lausanne, who briefed journalists at a recent event titled "Information Day" organized by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ladner said that climate change is the most outstanding topic and thus "green issues" will play a big part in this year's parliamentary elections.

Under the Swiss system, the parliament is divided into two chambers: the National Council with 200 seats distributed among the country's 26 cantons, and the 46-seat Council of States in which each "full canton" has two seats and each "half canton" has one seat. Representatives for both chambers are elected directly by voters for four-year terms.

This year's election for the National Council was held nationwide on Sunday, and the elections for the Council of States are being held in different cantons individually, with most of them taking place on Sunday.

In the elections for the 46-member Council of States, initial results suggested that the Greens were likely to gain more seats. Since candidates failed to win an absolute majority of votes, run-off elections will be held next month in 14 cantons.

The two chambers of the newly elected parliament will meet for the first time at the beginning of December to elect the Federal Council, the highest executive authority in the country, for the next four years. Enditem

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