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Anti-Immigration Party Wins Swiss Election

Anti-Immigration Party Wins Swiss ElectionAnti-Immigration Party Wins Swiss Election

The anti-immigration Swiss People's Party (SVP) won the biggest share of the vote in Sunday's national parliamentary election, keeping pressure on Bern to introduce quotas on people moving from the European Union.

Success for the SVP, coupled with gains made by the pro-business Liberal Party (FDP), led political commentators to talk of a "Rechtsrutsch" - a "slide to the right" - in Swiss politics, Reuters reported.

Immigration was the central topic for voters amid a rush of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. "The vote was clear," SVP leader Toni Brunner told Swiss television. "The people are worried about mass migration to Europe."

Sunday's result cemented the SVP's position as the dominant force in Swiss politics.

It won 29.4% of the vote, according to the final tally from Swiss broadcaster SRF, up from 26.6% in the 2011 vote and far exceeding expectations. It was the best performance by a party in at least a century. The election gains for the SVP, which was already Switzerland's biggest single party, come 20 months after the Swiss in a referendum backed limits on foreigners living in the Alpine nation. The SVP had strongly supported the restrictions.

Lawmakers have until 2017 to reconcile this referendum result with an EU pact that guarantees the free movement of workers, otherwise the Swiss government must write quotas into law regardless of any compromise with the EU.

 

Financialtribune.com