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Foreigners eligible to serve on town executives in Jura

For the first time ever, foreigners will be eligible to serve on the town executive of a Swiss canton.

Voters in Delémont and Porrentruy have decided to let foreigners who have lived in canton Jura for ten years, stand as candidates in communal elections this autumn. In Bassecourt, the same issue will go to a vote in July.

Jura and Neuchatel are the only cantons in Switzerland which give foreigners the vote in communal and cantonal elections.

The mayor and local councillors in the city of Zurich will see hefty wage cuts. In a surprise result, voters approved a proposal by the right-wing People's Party aimed at limiting salaries to SFr220,000 francs annually. The result means wage cuts of up to 20 per cent.

Voters in canton Lucerne rejected a similar proposal, but they came out in favour of setting up a new university with nearly 900 students. The existing two faculties of divinities and social sciences will be upgraded to include a law faculty. There are eight other universities in the German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. The first Italian-language university opened in Lugano in 1996.

The Social Democratic Party has lost its seat in the government of canton of Uri after more than 30 years. Their official candidate was defeated by an independent one, Markus Stadler. He will join the seven-member government, comprising Christian Democrats and
Radicals.

In Aargau, the Radicals held on to their second seat in the cantonal government. Peter Beyeler defeated an independent candidate in a run-off vote election for the five-member executive. It's made up of representatives of the Radicals, the Christian Democratic and the People's Party as well as an independent.

In local elections for the city council of Lucerne, the Christian Democrats lost one of their two seats to the Green Party.

by Urs Geiser




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