The Swiss parliament. Photo: Peter Schneider/Pool/AFP
A bid to launch a referendum to challenge the government’s implementation of the 2014 anti-immigration initiative is likely to fail, its supporters have said.
This so-called ‘light’ solution amounted to a hugely watered down version of the text of the original initiative, approved by the public in a February 2014 referendum, which had called for limits to be placed on EU immigration.
At the time Stojanovic said it was problematic in a direct democracy when the decisions taken by the public are not then enshrined in law.
To do so they were required to gather 50,000 signatures by April 7th.
However on Tuesday Stojanovic told the press the campaign was unlikely to gather that many signatures by the deadline.
Three weeks ago the committee had only gathered 12,000 of the required 50,000, reported broadcaster RTS
The bid is not supported by any major political party or movement, it added.
However Stojanovic attributed the likely failure to lack of resources, telling RTS they didn’t have the money nor the personnel to gather 50,000 signatures within the timescale.
Parliament made the controversial decision in order to preserve the country’s raft of bilateral agreements with the EU which would have been threatened by immigration quotas, a concept that goes against the principle of free movement of people.
But the move was heavily criticized in the press as anti-democratic and a “capitulation” to the EU.
Under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, any citizen may launch a bid for an optional referendum to put a stop to a proposed new law.
For the referendum to go ahead 50,000 signatures must be collected within 100 days.