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Anti-frontalier party loses support in Geneva

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Anti-frontalier party loses support in Geneva
Eric Stauffer. Photo: Municipality of Onex
10:44 CEST+02:00
The Geneva Citizens' Movement (MCG), a party that supports giving priority to Swiss citizens for jobs over foreign commuters crossing the border from France, was seen as the big loser in Sunday's municipal elections in the canton of Geneva.

Eric Stauffer, who co-founded the party ten years ago, admitted after the first round of voting for the executive council of the municipality of Onex, that “my chances of being re-elected are practically non-existent”, 20 Minutes reported.

Stauffer, a pugnacious politician who maintains that cross-border commuters have too many benefits, retains a seat as an MP for the cantonal parliament, but he is expected to lose what was the MCG’s only executive municipal seat in the canton.

The party had pushed a controversial campaign calling for “zero frontaliers” (cross-border workers) in Onex.

MCG’s president Roger Golay faces elimination from the race for the executive of the municipality of Lancy.

The party, seen to be on the rise a couple of years ago when it gained seats in the cantonal parliament, was also shut out of the executive councils of the city of Geneva and the municipalities of Vernier, Carouge and Versoix.

A second round of voting set for May 10th will be needed to decide the executives for Geneva’s 45 municipalities in cases where clear majorities were not reached on Sunday.

In voting for municipal councils that also took place on Sunday, the MCG lost nine of its 73 seats.

“Our supporters, without doubt, were not sufficiently mobilized,” Golay, who also doubles as an MP in the federal parliament, was quoted as saying.

The centre-right Liberals made the biggest gains in the elections, while the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (UDC) was the biggest loser, with other main parties retaining stable support.

In the city of Geneva, right-wing parties obtained 43 of the 80 seats in the municipal council, with the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) making the biggest gains with 11 seats up from seven previously.

The Socialists with 19 seats gained three, while the Greens with eight lost three, and representation for the centre-right Liberals (15) and MCG (11) remained unchanged.

The left-wing Ensemble à gauche party (10) and the UDC (six) each lost two seats.

A second ballot will be needed on May 10th to decide the five-seat executive council of the city, currently controlled by a left-wing majority.

Socialist Sami Kanaan led the first round of voting, followed by Christian Democrat Guillaume Barazzone, Green party member Esther Alder and Socialist Sandrine Salerno, all of them incumbents.

The other incumbent, Rémy Pagani, of the Tous à gauche party, faces elimination after arriving in eighth place.

Elsewhere, the government of Ticino remains unchanged after elections in the Italian-speaking canton on Sunday.

The nationalist Lega dei Ticinesi (Ticino League) held on to its two seats, while the Liberals, Christian Democrats and Socialists each kept their seats in the five-seat cabinet.

The new government is the only cantonal one in Switzerland that is all male after Liberal government member Laura Sadis stepped down

She was replaced by Christian Vitta, head of the party’s group in the Ticino parliament.

Results for the parliament were to be announced on Monday.

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