A mayor in the Geneva area has been caught voting for himself twice during local elections, casting ballots for his absent daughter before slipping his own vote in the box.

 

"/> A mayor in the Geneva area has been caught voting for himself twice during local elections, casting ballots for his absent daughter before slipping his own vote in the box.

 

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Swiss mayor votes twice for himself

A mayor in the Geneva area has been caught voting for himself twice during local elections, casting ballots for his absent daughter before slipping his own vote in the box.

 

Thierry Durand, mayor of Plan-les-Ouates, was elected last April. The mayor, who had a reputation for political expertise and his efforts to increase transparency, he was caught filling out, signing and sending the ballot for his daughter, who was in the United States, said a report on the local edition of the 20 Minuten daily.

He also then voted for himself at the booth, the paper said.

The mayor was quoted as admitting that he did forge his daughter’s signature, but added that everything was done “in total transparency between us via Skype.”

Durand said he regretted his move, but said he had broken the law to please his daughter and had a “clear conscience.”

The mayor is currently under investigation, the paper reported, and police will decide whether to refer the case to prosecutors. Durand risks up to three years in jail if convicted of electoral fraud.

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POLITICS

Swiss president under fire for handshake photo with Russia’s Lavrov

While attending the opening week of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York this week, Switzerland’s president Ignazio Cassis was photographed shaking hands with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Swiss president under fire for handshake photo with Russia's Lavrov

Though Cassis announced beforehand that he would address “President Putin’s recent provocations” and that he would “condemn the nuclear threat”, Russia used the photo for its own propaganda purposes, with Lavrov publishing the picture of the two smiling diplomats in his tweet.

Cassis quickly reacted with his own post, explaining that his meeting with Lavrov was for a good cause.

“I called on Russia to refrain from organizing so-called referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine. Switzerland is also very concerned about the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. Neutrality and good offices remain our instruments of dialogue”.

However, some in Switzerland and elsewhere have not accepted this response.

While the Foreign Ministry said “it sees no problem” with this photo, Swiss media Blick noted that “no head of state or minister of a Western democracy has allowed himself to be represented with Sergei Lavrov in such a posture”.

“This image would reflect an apparent normality in relations between the two countries, while Switzerland is still one of the countries hostile to Russia”.

It added, however, that Cassis might have had a noble motive in shaking Lavrov’s hand.

“In the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s announcement to mobilise the reserve troops of the Russian army against Ukraine, this somewhat tense grip is more due to the contingencies of diplomacy than to a reconciliation”.

Others were less understanding of Cassis’ action.

“Our President is shaking hands with a war criminal… I can’t believe it”, said Bernhard Guhl, former national adviser to the Center party.

For Thierry Burkart, president of the Liberal party, “it’s unfortunate that this photo exists. But sometimes you just can’t avoid it…”

As for other social media users, one commented that Cassis “looks proud standing next to a genocide instigator… ashamed of my government”.
 

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