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Maudet affair New Geneva ministers must swear never to accept benefits

Pierre Maudet during his swearing-in ceremony as Geneva president in May 2018

Maudet was sworn in as head of Geneva's government in May 2018. The position is temporarily being held by vice-president Antonio Hodgers pending an investigation.

(© KEYSTONE / MARTIAL TREZZINI)

Any new minister elected to Geneva’s cantonal government must pledge during the official swearing-in ceremony to never request, accept or offer any kind of benefit when in office. This change to the official swearing-in text was made in response the controversy surrounding Geneva minister Pierre Maudet.

In the future, new members of the Geneva cantonal government must swear or promise that they will not solicit or accept, for themselves or others, neither directly nor indirectly, any gift, advantage or promise due to their official function. The language is similar to that used by Swiss judges during swearing-in.

Maudet steps aside from Geneva presidency amid scandal

Geneva politician benefit case causes shockwaves

The amendment to the swearing-in text for new ministers, initiated by the left-wing Ensemble à Gauche party, was announced on Thursday, after its approval by Geneva parliamentarians.

Maudet, the former Geneva president and Federal Council candidate, is currently under investigation by the Geneva Attorney General’s Office over a trip he and his family took to Abu Dhabi in November 2015 to attend a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The trip was allegedly funded by that country’s crown prince to the tune of several tens of thousands of Swiss francs. Maudet initially said the journey was private and paid for by a friend, but later acknowledged “having hidden part of the truth”.

Amid the fallout from his controversial trip to Abu Dhabi, Maudet temporarily stepped down in September from his role as head of the cantonal government. He also gave up his hierarchical responsibility for oversight of the police and temporarily stepped down as head of the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors.

SDA-Keystone/swissinfo.ch/cl

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