Indonesia Expat
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People to Determine the Fate of Indonesian Palm Oil through a Referendum

Oil palm nursery by Lian Pin Koh. People to Determine the Fate of Indonesian Palm Oil through a Referendum

The Bundeskanzlei, the Swiss Constitutional Court, has officially approved Uniterre’s initiative to tackle Indonesian palm oil products in Switzerland.

The agricultural NGO based in Switzerland has proposed a referendum on whether palm oil products should be traded with Switzerland.

The Bundeskanzlei scheduled a referendum on palm oil for 7th March 2021. At least eight million Swiss people are to vote to determine whether or not Indonesian palm oil products may enter their country.

In June 2019, Uniterre collected 61,719 signatures on a petition against palm oil. The minimum quota of signatories to propose a referendum is 50,000.

For now, palm oil products can enter Switzerland. This is because of the trade cooperation agreement between Switzerland and Indonesia which was signed in 2018, as quoted by Kompas.

The law in Switzerland states that people can reject the trade agreement between two countries with a minimum of 50,000 signatures, which Uniterre has successfully exceeded. With the signatures submitted, a referendum is to be held.

Switzerland holds referendums every four years, discussing a range of topics. All Swiss people eligible to vote have the right to determine any changes to the trade agreement between Indonesia and Switzerland.

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