The National Council and the Council of States come together for elections to form the United Federal Assembly, which elects the members of the federal government and the federal courts and, in the event of war, appoints a general. During the winter session, it elects one member of the Federal Council as president of the federal government, and another as vice president, each for a one-year mandate. The United Federal Assembly also also elects the Federal Council’s chief of staff, also known as the Federal Chancellor, and the Attorney General of Switzerland.
Federal Council elections 2019 and 2022
During the last Federal Council elections in December 2019, Parliament – meeting as the United Federal Assembly – re-elected all the members of the Federal Council. After gaining over 10% of the votes for the first time in the October 2019 parliamentary elections, the Green Party was able to put its own candidate on the ballot. The Green Party ran against the FDP, however the FDP federal councillors Karin Keller-Sutter and Ignazio Cassis were able to hold on to their seats after being re-elected by an absolute majority. The newly elected Federal Council therefore remained unchanged.
Following the resignations of federal councillors Ueli Maurer (SVP) and Simonetta Sommaruga (SP), Parliament elected two new members to the Federal Council on 7 December 2022: Albert Rösti (SVP) and Elisabeth Baume-Schneider (SP).