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Stay or go? Belprahon and Sorvilier remain in canton Bern

A disappointed pro-Jura campaigner in Belprahon

Disappointed pro-Jura campaigners in Belprahon

(Keystone)

Sorvilier and Belprahon, two small Bernese municipalities, have voted to remain in canton Bern, disappointing campaigners who had wanted to switch allegiance to neighbouring canton Jura. 

Had they joined Jura, they would have followed the lead of the town of Moutier, although challenges to its vote of June 18 are still pending following accusations of fraudexternal link

In a close result in Belprahon, 121 citizens opted on Sunday for Bern and 114 for Jura. Only five inhabitants did not exercise their right to vote. 

The outcome was clearer in Sorvilier, where also 121 people wanted to maintain the status quo, but only 62 fancied joining Jura. 

Jura question

Jura broke away from Bern in 1979 and is thus the youngest of Switzerland’s 26 cantons. The votes in Moutier, Belprahon and Sorvilier have thus put an end to the decade-long “Jura question”, the justice ministry acknowledged. 

Charles Juillard, a member of the Jura cantonal government which had pushed for the municipalities to leave Bern, also admitted the process was over.

Government observers said the two votes on Sunday were conducted properly, but after the result was announced in Belprahon, the pro-Jura campaign said it would file a complaint because the vote had been held despite the ongoing Moutier enquiry meaning Moutier had yet to change cantons. 

Carte du Jura
(swissinfo.ch)

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

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