Fulvio Pelli, president of the Radical Party, looks like losing his seat. Is it because of his facial hair?

This content was published on October 23, 2011

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said she “wouldn’t tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard” – something about men with facial hair having something to hide.

Fulvio Pelli, the stubbly 60-year-old Radical president from Lugano, has said he’ll shave off his beard if his party gets 25 per cent of the vote. It seems extremely unlikely, however, that Pelli’s razor will get a work-out considering the Radicals – who look like being this elections big losers – are struggling just above 15 per cent, down from 17.7 per cent in 2007.

By 5pm the Radicals were expected to lose six seats in the House of Representatives. “The Radicals are suffering from a perception problem among the population,” Pelli said.

Things aren’t looking any better for Pelli personally. The latest provisional results show him in third place for a House of Representative seat in Ticino behind party colleagues Ignazio Cassis and Giovanni Merlini. This would not be enough, if the Radicals lose one of their three seats as expected.

Pelli announced on Sunday afternoon he would remain party president until the end of his term of office in spring.

Mind you, there are beards and there are beards – Pelli would be laughed out of town if he tried to do some canvassing at this event.

And Swiss tennis player George Bastl (below) mind have some tips for him.

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