Wallimann-Bornatico calls for discussion of a professional parliament

Mariangela Wallimann-Bornatico, who takes charge of her first full session of parliament as geneneral secretary on Monday Keystone

One day before the opening of the three-week summer session of the Swiss parliament, the general secretary, Mariangela Walliman-Bornatico, has come out in favour of discussing the idea of making it more professional.

This content was published on June 4, 2000 - 08:05

In an interview with the "Sonntagszeitung" newspaper, Walliman-Bornatico said the current system has been treated as a "sacred cow" for too long. "In the long term, Switzerland cannot have a parliament that is so badly paid, that only those who are wealthy enough stand for election," she said.

Wallimann-Bornatico said she thought the issue would be debated increasingly over the next few years.

She also warned of the threat of an imbalance between parliamentarians and the administrative infrastructure. She said the legislative consisted of the 246 elected members and not the administration.

Parliament, she maintained, was facing a similar problem to the one faced by the Swiss judiciary. "Instead of increasing the numbers of judges, we are increasing the number of court clerks," she said. "At some time in the future we will have a situation where the judicial system has become a 'court clerk judiciary'."

The 52-year old will be in charge of her first full session of parliament when it reconvenes on Monday. She was elected to office in March in a 173-16 vote by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

As general secretary, she is responsible for the overall running and co-ordination of parliament.

swissinfo with agencies

Articles in this story

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?