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Ceremony of the authorities' installation, the Canton of Vaud - Switzerland

As of December 31, 2020, the Canton of Vaud was made up of 309 municipalities (local authorities), the smallest was Mauraz with 58 inhabitants and the largest Lausanne with 140 430. Every five years, the deliberative authorities (municipal or general councils) and executive (municipalities) are renewed and these elections will take place in spring 2021. The deliberative assemblies of municipalities with more than 3000 inhabitants are compulsorily elected according to the proportional system, while those of small communes as well as municipalities are elected by the two-round majority system.

A trustee is then elected from the members of the municipality to chair the latter, also under the two-round majority system.

The Vaudois prefects are directly involved in this electoral process as a supervisory authority. It is to these State territorial representatives (STR) that citizens should address any dispute relating to the preparation, conduct or result of election.

Without the need to open a formal procedure each time, many questions thus end up in the prefecture on the subject, for example, of propaganda stands, political posters, the electorate of certain candidates, the abusive use of municipal arms in the electoral campaign, errors in the distribution of voting material, failure in the counting process, etc.

In case of a formal appeal, the prefect conducts the investigation, hears the appellant and may proceed to other hearings, if he considers it necessary. Once the investigation is closed, the case is sent to the Council of State (cantonal executive) for decision.

The prefects will then be called to chair the sessions of authorities’ installation of all the municipalities in order to proceed with the swearing-in of all elected officials. He will then proceed to the election by the deliberative assembly of a president and a secretary before giving his place for the rest of the operations, namely the designation of the office, the standing committees and the municipal delegates in the inter-municipal associations.

All these operations must be carried out for the beginning of the 2021 - 2026 legislature, thus before July 1, 2021. A period of three additional months is granted for the installation sessions of the inter-municipal associations, it is necessary because each municipality designates its representatives beforehand.


Roland Berdoz

Prefect of the Riviera District– Pays-d’Enhaut

the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland


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