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Swiss right-wingers defeated in referendum on new citizenship rules

Switzerland hold referendums as part of its system of direct democracy [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 February, 2017

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Switzerland will ease its naturalisation process for 'third generation immigrants' despite an aggressive opposing campaign launched by far right activists.
Swiss voters have backed a proposal to expedite the citizenship process for residents whose grandparents settled in the country

The ballot is the country's latest referendum as part of its system of direct democracy.

After polls closed at midday on Sunday, public broadcaster SRF showed the measure easily winning by a 59-41 percent margin.

Sunday's referendum result represents a significant defeat for the far-right Swiss people's party [SVP], who fiercely opposed the measure by running an anti-Muslim ad campaign.

The ad campaign, which features a woman's shadowed eyes staring out from a black niqab, called on voters to reject "uncontrolled naturalisation".

Read moreAnti-Muslim poster stirs controversy ahead of Switzerland naturalisation referendum

A similar campaign was run by the SVP in 2009, when they were successful in convincing many Swiss voters to vote in favour of a ban on the construction of new minarets in Switzerland.

 

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