A branch of the rightwing Swiss People's Party has called on government representative Samuel Schmid to leave the party.This content was published on June 7, 2008 - 16:11
Members of the Zurich cantonal chapter made the call at a congress on Saturday, citing the need to clarify the party's internal situation ahead of federal elections in 2011.
The party is facing increasing internal tension in a row over Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.
The party has moved to ban Widmer-Schlumpf and her Graubünden chapter, because she accepted her election to the cabinet against the wishes of the party leadership.
Liberal members of the Bern cantonal chapter are planning to set up their own party to protest against the hardline policy of the national leadership. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Schmid has also made it clear he no longer backs his party's tough political style and is willing to join a more moderate movement.
Around 270 party members attended the Zurich congress and heard from former figurehead Christoph Blocher, parliamentarian Christophe Mörgeli and senator Rita Fuhrer.
Zurich chapter secretary Daniela Vas said the party needed to resolve its issues to maintain credibility.