Rightwing citizenship plan loses support

Support appears to be fading for a proposal to overturn a ban on the controversial use of the ballot box to decide on citizenship applications.

This content was published on May 21, 2008 minutes

According to a poll commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, only about one-third of those surveyed said they would support the plan when it comes to a nationwide vote on June 1.

That is down from the nearly 50 per cent who said in an earlier survey that they favoured the proposal by the rightwing Swiss People's Party.

The poll is based on more than 1,200 interviews carried out across Switzerland last week.

The government and three of the four main political parties have come out against the initiative.

The ban on the ballot box procedure was imposed by the Federal Court five years ago in the wake of a series of allegedly discriminatory decisions. It was believed that many applicants in some communities were turned down by voters simply because of their Balkan origins.

The polling institute said a planned health reform and a proposal to limit information campaigns by the federal authorities also look unlikely to win a majority in the vote in June.

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