Separatist Swiss region plans June 2020 Mouti-exit vote

Separatist Swiss region plans June 2020 Mouti-exit vote
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Many in the town of Moutier have long sought to exit the canton of Bern and join neighbouring Jura. After a 2017 election was ruled invalid, the mayor has proposed another vote for mid-2020.

The French-speaking Moutier has long been frustrated with its presence in the German-speaking canton of Bern. 

Described on social media as Mouxit or Mouti-exit – referencing Britain’s Brexit decision to leave the European Union – tensions have been simmering ever since the Administrative Court in Bern declared a successful 2017 separatist vote invalid. 

The 2017 vote

Voters celebrated in 2017 after they decided by a narrow margin of 137 votes to leave Bern and join Jura. A total of approximately 4,000 citizens took part in the ballot. 

READ: Why the small Swiss town of Moutier is making headlines (again)

As reported by The Local in August 2019, the court invalidated the vote due to a number of concerns with its legitimacy. The court found evidence of ‘electoral tourism’ – i.e. that non-residents had voted in the election – as well as vote rigging. 

Another major reason for the declaration was the intimate involvement of Moutier’s mayor Marcel Winistoerfer in the campaign. Mayors and other public officials are required by law to remain neutral on such issues. 

No appeal to the court’s decision

Winistoerfer told Swiss newspaper Le Temps that there will be no appeal launched against the findings of the court. 

The “individual appellants to the Administrative Court have announced that we will refrain from bringing an action before the Federal Court”, Winistoerfer said. 

Winistoerfer and other Moutier separatists pointed out the delays associated with a court appeal – the last avenue of appeal is the federal court – were likely to be too long. 

Instead, a new vote will be held – this time without the irregularities that hampered the 2017 version. 

Separatist movements have also been seen in other parts of Bern, including Sorvillier and Belprahon, although residents in these two villages voted to stay. 

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #0000e9}
span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}

 


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.