Speaking to the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger recently, Corine Mauch, Zurich’s mayor said she plans to launch an initiative to give foreign residents the chance to vote at a municipal level.
Mauch, whose mother Ursula Mauch was the first female federal parliamentarian from the canton of Aargau, said that while foreign residents live, work and pay taxes in the city, they cannot vote.
In the city of Zurich, close to half of residents (47%) are foreign.
Mauch, a member of the Socialist Party, said she will send the proposal to the canton after the summer break. The plan, which has municipal government support, needs to win the approval of the cantonal government before it can be presented to the canton’s Swiss voters. If it wins the support of the canton’s government it will be put to a public cantonal vote in a few years time.
If successful, foreign residents in the municipality of Zurich would be able to vote on municipal matters after two years of residence in the city.
In 2013, a similar initiative to allow foreigners who had lived in the canton for 10 years to vote, was rejected.
Non-Swiss residents in 8 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons and in several hundred municipalities can already vote on local issues, mainly in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Tages-Anzeiger article (in German)