Poll says Schmid is weak but shouldn't go

Embattled Defence Minister Samuel Schmid has shown a lack of leadership but should stay in his position, according to a survey for the SonntagsBlick newspaper.

This content was published on July 27, 2008 - 11:15

Following a week in which the head of Switzerland's armed forces, Roland Nef, handed in his resignation following allegations of sexual harassment, 65 per cent of respondents thought Schmid had not dealt with the situation decisively.

Schmid had previously conceded it was wrong not to tell the other cabinet ministers of a criminal investigation pending against Nef, who was one of four candidates in the running for the post of army chief last year.

Details of the allegations against Nef, which included charges of coercion, as well as a payment to a former girlfriend as part of an out of court settlement, had been leaked to the media earlier in July. Only a third of respondents on Sunday thought Nef's love life was a matter of public interest.

Although Schmid's leadership skills took a battering in the poll, 49 per cent of SonntagsBlick readers still found him credible and only 23 per cent thought he should stand down.

Were he to do so, 12 per cent though the vacated seat should be filled by someone from the Green Party or from the new Conservative Democratic Party, which Schmid joined after being pressured out of the rightwing Swiss People's Party. Thirty per cent however believed the People's Party had a claim to the seat.

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