Record number to contest Swiss October elections

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A record number of candidates will stand for the Swiss legislative elections on October 23, authorities said Thursday.

At the close of applications, the federal chancellery said it has received requests from 3,458 people who are standing for the 200 available seats in the Swiss parliament.

"This is an increase of 10.7 percent from the previous election, which constitutes a new record," said the authorities.

The number of candidates from French-speaking Switzerland has increased sharply, with 73 more applicants seeking a place in canton Geneva and 110 more in canton Vaud.

Female participation however fell from 35.2 percent in 2007 to 32.7 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile 73 Swiss living abroad are also contesting next month's elections, up from 44 in 2007.

© 2011 AFP

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