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Switzerland shifts right as populists win parliamentary elections

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 23, 2023 7:32 PM 2 min read
The Federal Palace, Switzerland's parliament building, in Bern, Switzerland, March 2023. (Photo by Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) won the country's Oct. 22 parliamentary elections, the final results revealed on Oct. 23.

SVP gained 28.6% of the vote, which gives them 62 seats in the 200-seat Swiss National Council, the lower chamber of parliament. This represents an increase of nine seats since the previous election in 2019.

Members of the party boycotted President Volodymyr Zelensky's speech to the Swiss parliament on June 15, claiming it violated the country's tradition of neutrality.

The second-most popular party was the left-wing Social Democrats, with 18% of the vote. They received 41 seats, an increase of two.

The Green Party, however, recived only 9.4%, a fall of 4% since the previous election, leaving them with 24 seats.

Voter turnout for the election was 46.6%, slightly higher than the previous election.

The Swiss parliament has repeatedly voted against proposals to amend the rules regarding the re-export of Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine.

Switzerland has also blocked the transfer of Swiss-made Leopard 1 tanks currently in Italy to Ukraine.

Due to the country's historic policy of neutrality, the law does not currently allow the delivery of Swiss weapons to combat zones, even when supplied by an intermediary country.

Media: 1 in 5 Europe-based Russian spies located in Switzerland
Switzerland is increasingly becoming a base for Russia’s secret services, with about 80 Russian spies in the country, according to an investigation by Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
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