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Right turn of Swiss parliament in a context of "fear" /></p>
<p>The Swiss populist right won Hands down on Sunday the legislative elections in a marked context. by the resurgence of the migration issue, the risks of attacks in Europe and tensions in the Middle East, according to the latest projections. </p>
<p>According to a new projection from the gfs.bern institute, the hard-right Democratic Union of the Center (UDC), which campaigned against “mass immigration”, “gender diktats” and “woke madness” , strengthens its position as the country's leading political party, with around 29% of the votes in the National Council (lower house of parliament).</p>
<p>“The security situation is no longer the same as before” , commented to AFP Thomas Aeschi, president of the UDC parliamentary group, after the publication of the projections, adding: “there are many people in Switzerland who are afraid that the situation will become worse”. </p>
<p>The Swiss – the vast majority of whom vote by post – were called upon to elect their 200 deputies to the National Council by proportional representation.</p>
<p>The 46 senators of the Council of States (upper house), elected by majority vote, must also be renewed but second rounds must take place in the coming weeks in several cantons.</p>
<p>The final results are expected late in the night or Monday morning, but the figures should hardly change.</p>
<p>– “identity withdrawal” –</p>
<p>The UDC – first party since 1999 – arrived on Sunday far ahead of the Socialists (PS), second party in the lower house, who would obtain around 17.5% of the votes, a very slight increase.</p>
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Electoral posters of two UDC candidates before the legislative elections, September 19, 2023 near Kerzers, Switzerland © AFP – Fabrice COFFRINI

The Center and the Liberal-Radicals (PLR) are fighting for third place, at 14.6% of the vote. Far from their electoral surge of 2019, the Greens have fallen to just over 9% and the Vert'liberals to around 7%.

“We have a very clear progression from the UDC to the extreme right. It will be more difficult to fight for purchasing power, for equality and for climate policy,” Cédric Wermuth, co-president of the Socialist Party, commented to AFP.

Among the Greens, the observation is bitter.

“We have a very strong breakthrough from the far right of the UDC,” observed Lisa Mazzone, outgoing senator of the Greens, stressing that the elections were held in “a harsh context, of violence, of fear”.

“There are a lot of wars going on and there is a withdrawal of identity,” added the vice-president of the Greens, Nicolas Walder, on Swiss public television RTS.

– “strict neutrality” –

The UDC campaigned around the defense of Switzerland's “strict neutrality”, strongly criticizing Bern's alignment with the sanctions taken by the EU after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But the party above all focused its campaign around its favorite theme, the fight against “mass immigration”, which it accuses of being at the origin of crime, the explosion of social costs or even of the increase in electricity consumption.

With today's result, “we received a very clear mandate from the Swiss population, which is to put on the table issues that are important to them such as illegal immigration (…) and a secure energy supply” , reacted the president of the UDC, Marco Chiesa, to the RTS.

Swiss parliament shifts to the right in a context of 'fear'

Electoral posters before the legislative elections in Switzerland, September 29, 2023 near Aarberg © AFP – Fabrice COFFRINI

During the campaign, the party was accused of flirting with the far right, but the UDC's speech continues to appeal to the Swiss, whose country, one of the richest in the world, does not experience massive arrivals of migrants.

The UDC had set itself the objective of recovering the approximately 100,000 voters lost four years ago, when the green wave – driven by youth demonstrations – boosted the environmentalist bloc.

The bet seems to have paid off, since the result is close to their historic score of 29.4% reached in 2015, in the midst of the European migration crisis.

This new success seems to be linked, explains Sean Müller, of the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Lausanne, to greater participation in the campaigns, in a country where participation is around the 45%.

On December 13, parliamentarians will designate the seven members of the Federal Council (government), within which the first four parties share the seven ministerial portfolios.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116