Swiss citizens went to the polls on October 20 to elect members of the country's Federal Assembly. Most of the sitting parties took a hit in their numbers. While both losses and gains were mostly moderate, the numbers could be enough to shift some power.

Switzerland has one of the most unique governing systems in the world. In part because of this, the full balance of power isn't yet known. But there are some indications as to what could happen.

Conservative and green parties get big numbers

The conservative Swiss People's Party has won the lion's share of seats and of votes cast according to Reuters. It marks the sixth consecutive federal election where it won the most votes. And for the fifth time in a row, it has scored the most seats.

Though it may seem odd, the parties finishing in fourth and sixth place could be getting the most attention.

They are the Green Party of Switzerland and the more moderate Green Liberal Party of Switzerland. At first glance, their placements might seem unimpressive. But together they received more than 20 percent of votes cast. They're also two of the few parties to actually increase their share of votes received and seats won.

Ultimately, ten parties won enough votes to receive at least one seat in the Federal Assembly.

Of those parties, ones running on right-of-center platforms scored roughly 59 percent of votes. The green parties received a little over 20 percent. Socialist-minded parties got about 18 percent of the vote.

More positions to be filled

Unlike most other countries, Switzerland is not led by a single head of state. Instead, members of the Federal Assembly elect the members of the Federal Council, including a president and vice president.

Members of the Council usually come from the Federal Assembly, though they don't have to. In theory, any grown adult citizen of Switzerland could be elected. Each member is tasked with leading at least one federal department. In effect, they become the country's Cabinet.

Presidents of the Council can have special powers and responsibilities. But for the most part, they're no different from the other members.

New presidents and vice presidents are chosen each year. Traditionally, the vice president is chosen to be the new president for the next year. In many cases, major political decisions are decided on via a referendum of the public, as documented by Reuters.

A green party has never had a seat on the Council. With the election results, there will in all likelihood soon be at least one. But, as U.S. News & World Report suggests, many are waiting to see if the two parties join forces.

If they do, they could well get multiple seats on the Council.

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