Swiss reject naturalization by secret ballot

Voters rejected a proposal Sunday by the right-wing Swiss People's Party to allow citizens the final say over who might have a Swiss passport.

More than 63 per cent of voters and all but one of the country's 26 cantons voted against bringing back the secret ballot to decide naturalization applications.

Voters also threw out plans to reform the health insurance system and measures to limit the government's information policy.

French-speaking regions were particularly opposed to a return to the secret ballot, with up to 80 per cent of "no" votes.

The courts outlawed the process five years ago following a number of controversial decisions which saw a vast majority of citizens of Balkan origin refused Swiss nationality in one commune.

The right-wing People's Party (SVP/UDC) was behind the initiative to overturn the ruling, saying it was up to the communes to decide how to deal with immigrants not the federal court.

They also wanted to ban the right to appeal by those rejected for citizenship.

However the government and three out of the four main political parties said the ballot box procedure would be discriminatory.

They favoured current measures of deciding by the canton executive, or elected panels, some with a public right of veto at commune level.

The SVP/UDC said afterwards the people had decided against the democratic path but the government disagreed.

"Voters have demonstrated that they are attached to direct democracy but also to fundamental rights and they don't want the two to clash," Swiss President Pascal Couchepin said on Swiss radio.

Swiss naturalization is already among the toughest in Europe. Applicants have to be resident for 12 years before being eligible to apply compared with between four and 10 years elsewhere.

Around 20 per cent of the population is made up of foreigners.

In 2007, 45,042 applications were accepted, the highest number for 25 years, but critics say the rate of acceptance is still lower than other European countries.

It is 2.4 per cent compared with 4.1 per cent in the Netherlands, 4.9 per cent in France and 8.2 per cent in Sweden, dpa reported.

Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Turkmenistan ready to support contracts with companies of Russia’s Perm Krai
Turkmenistan ready to support contracts with companies of Russia’s Perm Krai
Loading Bars
Latest
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
Footage from liberated from occupation Padar village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan neutralizes one of 3 missiles shot by Armenian troops at Azerbaijan's Tartar
Azerbaijan's Bank Association denies lies spread by Armenian side
Effective co-op in field of border security established between Azerbaijan, Iran
Armenian Armed Forces shell Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using 'Smerch' missiles
Armenia indiscriminately targets civilians - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijanis hold rally in California, condemning Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani compatriots living in Minnesota hold protest rally (PHOTO)
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan's Tartar city, villages
Armenian armed forces shelling Tartar city with artillery, missiles in gross breach of humanitarian ceasefire
Iran's powder detergent production grows
Azerbaijanis in Denmark hold protest rally against Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Turkish embassy in Georgia talks joint energy projects of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Protest rally against Armenian attack on Ganja held in Bielefeld, Germany (PHOTO)
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 27
Armenian Armed Forces’ quadrocopter destroyed by Azerbaijani troops
Al Jazeera posts article covering aftermath of Armenian missile attack on Ganja
Baku's secondary housing prices show monthly decline
Investments in Iran's capital market increase
Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
Turkey's export of defense products to Morocco plunges
Nagorno-Karabakh region to be liberated sooner or later: press secretary of Turkish president
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
Work connected with laying of gas pipelines on freed Azerbaijani territories kicked off (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Volume of maritime cargo shipment via Turkey from Spain disclosed
Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Azerbaijani railway operator admitted to consortium of Trans-Caspian Transport Route
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Iran Khodro reveals amount of funds saved thanks to domestic manufacturing
Export of Turkish-made defense products to China slumps
Armenian Armed Forces fire at school in Aghdam (PHOTO)
Assistant to Azerbaijani president comments on photo of Armenia's defense minister together with Armenian soldiers
Macron's anti-Islamic statements point to extreme misunderstanding of religion - Arab analyst
Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya tops list of regions implementing foreign investments
Heritage Foundation's Foreign Policy Studies Center Director comments on photo showing Russian field camp set up near Armenian Tegh
Georgia sees increase in hazelnuts export
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
U.S. regrets EU move on tariffs, seeks deal on Boeing-Airbus row
Russia seeking to be stabilizer in South Caucasus, says Russian expert
Uzbekistan discusses strengthening multilateral co-op with China and S. Korea
President Aliyev congratulates commanders of joint military corps who distinguished themselves in liberation of Gubadli city, villages of Gubadli district from occupiers
Review of statistics of people registered within state program 'Remotely from Georgia'
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Azerbaijani army does not fire at civilians - Defense Ministry
President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel (PHOTO)
Iran launches new water treatment facility in Tehran
Iran studies Famotidine as Coronavirus treatment
Industrial production in Karabakh to increase in post-conflict period - CAERC head
Turkish president urges to boycott French goods
Work on power supply to strategic facilities in freed Azerbaijani territories underway (PHOTO)
Bank of Georgia suffers loss
S&P Global Ratings expects Azerbaijan's export to grow in next years
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
Wildfire breaks out in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan district from Armenian attacks (VIDEO)
SOCAR considering new investments in Turkey
Romania's import of Azerbaijani products for 9M2020 revealed
Armenian Armed Forces fire at Azerbaijan’s Tartar district
Price of most Georgian companies’ shares up on London Stock Exchange
UK armed forces take control of ship in English Channel, seven people detained
Mobile phones and smartphones import down in Georgia
Azerbaijan confirms 131 more COVID-19 recoveries
Iran enlarges petrochemicals production
Azerbaijan hikes export to Belarus in 9M2020
S&P says Azerbaijani manat to maintain position against USD
German government raises 2020 GDP forecast to -5.5%
Turkmenistan ready to support contracts with companies of Russia’s Perm Krai
Recruiting children by Armenia against Azerbaijan is war crime, says Lebanese lawyer
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan restoring historical justice on battlefield
Azerbaijan's Aghjabadi district again under fire of Armenian Armed Forces
It is not worth using peacekeeping efforts of third states in settlement of Karabakh conflict - Georgian expert
Weekly digest of Azerbaijan’s energy sector
Uzbekneftegaz accelerates commissioning of technological devices due to autumn-winter period
EU's Barnier heads for London for Brexit deal talks
Corn oil produced by Georgian Plant Oil Company Qarva to enter supermarkets
President Ilham Aliyev talks proving to world that Karabakh is Azerbaijan's historical land
Turkey discloses 9M2020 data on cargo movement via its ports from UK
Armenia's leadership, criminal junta regime have no moral, ethical framework - Azerbaijani top official
Iran ready to fire at Armenian Armed Forces if they approach its border with Azerbaijan
Iran`s Quchan grapes exports revealed
Turkmen private sector provides half of industrial production in Balkan region
Amount of industrial enterprises launched in Iran's Hamadan soars
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 26
Uzbekneftegaz eyes to increase natural gas production
Armenia never supports peace – Azerbaijani MP in interview to TRT World TV channel (VIDEO)
Karabakh conflict's settlement process is at hot point - Kremlin spokesman
Over 230 tankers with ACG oil shipped from Ceyhan terminal
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on civil casualties, damages
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy equipment
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council slams French president
Canada points out importance of creating mechanism for resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
EBRD supports construction of 100 MW wind farm in south of Kazakhstan
Georgian Tegeta Motors Company makes another deals
All nations in Azerbaijan united and will achieve victory - head of Russian community
Iran boosts generation capacity of thermal power plants
Kazakhstan's fixed investments volume decreases over 9M2020
All news