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Federal involvement Justice minister calls for ‘crisis summit’ on disputed Moutier vote

Simonetta Sommaruga speaks at the dissolution of the Interjurassic Assembly, on Friday, 10 November 2017, in Moutier

Sommaruga invited the governments of the two cantons to address the dispute within the next two months.

(Keystone)

Nearly a year after a vote that saw the town of Moutier move from Bern to Jura, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has called for the governments of both cantons to address allegations of fraud at a meeting.

The “crisis summit” addressing the vote’s validity should take place before the end of May at the latest, Sommaruga said, according to a report in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper. The justice minister added that an “analysis of the situation” is necessary.

Two weeks ago, the German-language paper reported possible “electoral tourism” that allegedly could have swayed the vote in June 2017, when Moutier decided to secede from Bern by a margin of 137 votes. A total of 4,000 citizens took part in the ballot – an unusually high turnout of 88%.

Perturbed by the suspicions of fraud, Moutier had requested the government's help last Thursday, with Moutier mayor Marcel Winistoerfer denouncing suspicions of electoral tourism (people registering in a municipality without actually settling there).

RTS/SDA-ATS/cl

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