Swiss referendums, 2002

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Eight referendums were held in Switzerland during 2002.[1] The first two were held on 3 March on popular initiatives for Switzerland to join the United Nations and to reduce working hours. UN membership was approved, whilst the shorter working hours proposal was rejected.[1] The next two were held on 2 June on amending the penal code regarding abortion, which was approved, and a popular initiative "for mother and child", which was rejected.[1]

The next set referendums was held on 22 September, with a popular initiative on adding surplus gold reserves to the country's pension fund and a counter-proposal, as well as a federal law on the electricity market. All three were rejected.[1] The final two referendums were held on 24 November on a popular initiative "against misuse of asylum rights" and a federal law on compulsory unemployment insurance and compensation for insolvencies. The asylum proposal was rejected, whilst the federal law was approved.[1]


Month Question For Against Blank/invalid Total Registered
Turnout Cantons for Cantons against
Votes % Votes % Blank Invalid Full Half Full Half
MarchUnited Nations membership1,489,11054.61,237,62945.420,38611,8002,758,9254,721,42258.411294
Reducing working hours686,93525.42,021,19874.630,98111,6652,750,77958.300206
JuneStrafgesetzbuch amendment on abortion1,399,54572.2540,10527.830,0088,4651,978,1234,730,59441.8
Popular initiative "for mother and child"352,43218.21,578,87081.832,9128,3821,972,59641.700206
SeptemberSurplus gold reserves into pension fund[a]984,05846.41,085,07251.110,9979,6632,143,0274,744,19745.260146
Counter-proposal on gold reserves[a]984,53746.41,057,39849.810,9979,6632,143,02749.861145
Electricity market law972,77047.41,078,41252.662,97411,0582,125,21444.8
NovemberPopular initiative on asylum1,119,34249.91,123,55050.123,7499,9412,276,5824,749,99447.9
Federal law on unemployment insurance1,234,79356.1966,43043.950,87910,0192,262,12147.6
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

a In the referendum with the counter-proposal voters could also give no answer. For the main question 53,237 voters (2.5%) did not answer, whilst for the counter-proposal 80,432 (3.8%) did not answer.[2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1943 ISBN 9783832956097
  2. Switzerland, 22 September 2002: Surplus gold reserves into the AHV Funds (Gold Initiative) with counter-proposal Direct Democracy (German)
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