Swiss far-right submits petition for referendum on courts' sovereignty
- Donald Trump Sworn in as 45th U.S. President
- Wall Street ends higher as Trump becomes president
- Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Said to Face Antitrust Concern for Rite Aid (RAD) Fix - Bloomberg
- Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Says It Won't Pursue Accelerated U.S. Regulatory Pathway for Opdivo Plus Yervoy in Lung Cancer
- Apple (AAPL) Sues Qualcomm (QCOM) Over Patent Royalties in Antitrust Case - Bloomberg
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 2-week free trial here.
By Michael Shields
ZURICH (Reuters) - The far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) submitted a petition on Friday to cement Swiss sovereignty on legal matters over most international law, insisting citizens needed this to wrest back control from the political elite.
The SVP said its "Swiss Law, Not Foreign Judges" drive, which would force a referendum if the nearly 117,000 signatures on its petition are certified, would counter what it described as efforts to thwart Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
Critics, including the main business lobby, said a vote in favor of Swiss courts would undermine participation in the European Convention on Human Rights and harm the economy by making it harder or impossible to uphold trade pacts.
The SVP, the biggest party in parliament and the most popular in opinion polls, has often championed a Swiss-first approach, such as a successful 2014 referendum that demanded quotas on immigration, including from the European Union.
Negotiations with Brussels on how to implement that measure without violating bilateral economic accords guaranteeing free movement for EU citizens are going down to the wire.
The SVP sees such talks as an example of efforts by politicians and courts to frustrate voters' wishes by citing international law. "The intent is clear: direct democracy, a Swiss specialty in which the citizens are sovereign, should be curtailed or even cut off," an SVP statement said.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has indeed issued decisions that trumped Swiss court rulings.
One example, in October 2015, was ruling that a Swiss court had violated a Turkish politician's free speech rights when it fined him for denying that Armenians in Turkey had been victims of genocide a century ago. The politician, Dogu Perincek, made the comments during appearances in Switzerland.
Swiss anti-racism laws, the European court ruled, infringed on Perincek's right to voice his opinion.
Right-wing figurehead Christoph Blocher and allies fired a salvo last week against negotiating closer ties, saying it would be a strategic error to join forces with such a crisis-ridden entity and let EU courts decide any disputes that arose.
(Additional reporting by John Miller; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- On Trump's second day, thousands of women to march in D.C. in protest
- Blast kills at least 21 in Pakistan vegetable market, says official
- Afghanistan's Abdullah welcomes Trump commitment to troops
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!