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Switzerland's international role is put to the test in a popular vote

Even in a country with a tradition of hosting international organizations, one-third of all voters preferred to put the promise of "Swiss law first" ahead of global cooperation.

Swiss crowds in Bern's Federal Square
Swiss crowds in Bern's Federal Square (AN/J. Heilprin)

BERN, Switzerland (AN) — Voters in Switzerland overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure seeking to put the nation's laws ahead of international obligations. But a third of all who cast ballots sided with a right-wing populist belief in "self-determination" above all else.

The initiative failed by a wide margin of 66.2%—33.8%, in a setback for its sponsor, the Swiss People's Party. Swiss government-funded TV broadcaster SRF headlined that the initiative was "shipwrecked." Voter turnout was just 47.7%, but that was unusually high.

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