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nordnerd
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005, 02:43 AM
For the first time in history a rightwing extremist has been elected to serve in a Swiss local government.

The surprise election of teenager Dominic Bannholzer to the government of the commune of Günsberg in northern Switzerland has caused widespread dismay. But, at least for one political observer, the election should not be seen as a cause for alarm.

Bannholzer, who represents the Party of Nationally Orientated Swiss (PNOS), gained 21 per cent of the vote in the election at the end of April.

He fought a campaign for stricter sanctions against drug dealers and criminal asylum seekers, as well as support for farmers in the 1,164-member community.

His victory comes six months after another member of PNOS succeeded in being elected to the local parliament of the town of Langenthal in canton Bern.

Hans Stutz, a journalist and observer of the far-right scene in Switzerland, says that victory can be put down to low voter turnout.

In Günsberg the fact that the rightwing Swiss People’s Party did not field a candidate probably contributed towards the result, Stutz told swissinfo.

"It seems that members of the national-conservative camp are prepared to vote for a rightwing extremist," Stutz said.

"Climate of discrimination"

But although two PNOS members have now made the breakthrough into local politics, Stutz considers it relatively unlikely that representatives of the Far Right will be elected in the future.

For Stutz, a new development is that PNOS is now playing a part in institutional politics.

"This has only become possible because in the past 20 years the [rightwing] People’s Party, the Action for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland and other similar groupings have introduced a climate of discrimination and rabble-rousing in society," he said.

PNOS was founded in 2000 and now has an estimated 100 to 130 members. It is particularly active in central Switzerland and around Basel.

Stutz says the party has from the start tried to present itself as a moderate political force that eschews violence, although some of its members have previous convictions for violent offences.

"But if we look at the party manifesto we see that at its core it is partly national-socialist and partly racist."

The federal authorities’ report for 2004 on extremism confirms this view. "The party programme, party newspaper and other PNOS publications are characterised by xenophobic, antidemocratic and rightwing extremist rhetoric," it says.

Minorities targeted

Stutz says PNOS is dangerous because it has links to people who have used violence against members of minorities, including gays, Jews and foreigners.

There is also evidence that the youth section of PNOS is cultivating contacts with rightwing extremists in Germany, Stutz says.

But the political observer does not want to dramatise the election of 19-year-old Bannholzer.

"Rightwing extremism is still a development on the margins of society, he told swissinfo. "I don’t see any reason for panic."

However, he does believe that the Swiss should speak up against extremist behaviour. "We must keep our eyes open and speak out when we witness far-right extremist comments and deeds."

www.swissinfo.org (http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=107&sid=5736994&cKey=1115106871000)

anonymaus
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005, 02:49 AM
Bannholzer, who represents the Party of Nationally Orientated Swiss (PNOS),

His political party's name is PNOS? Is this a joke? :rotfl: :rotfl:

DreamWalker
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005, 02:56 AM
His political party's name is PNOS? Is this a joke? :rotfl: :rotfl:

Probably does not have the same sound in German :redface:

HIM
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005, 03:42 AM
His political party's name is PNOS? Is this a joke? :rotfl: :rotfl:

I was thinking the same thing!! :rofl:

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005, 12:42 PM
When I was at school we used to get the Hong Kong Chinese students to say "peanuts" for the same effect :D

But seriously, stories like the one above are becoming more and more commonplace. Europe is fighting back, look for the results of the 5th May elections in the UK where the British National Party might possibly make a breakthrough.

werwolf1488
Thursday, May 5th, 2005, 04:01 AM
Yeah, the partys name sounds stupid in English, in German it sounds a lot better.
This Hans Stutz guy is the biggest dick ever. He calls himself an expert on far right extremism, but he is just paid by Jews to agitate about right wing people in the media. He is talking big, in his articles, but when he meets a bunch of nationalists, he pisses his pants. And I don't even know, why they make such a freaking drama out of it.
Dominic Bannholzer got elected in a towns executive, what do they wanne to from there, take over Switzerland or what? :scratch:
I mean, even the NPD in Germany has more freedoms than the PNOS and they are already hard on the NPD in Germany, but in Switzerland, it is even a wonder, that they aren't prohibited yet.

DreamWalker
Thursday, May 5th, 2005, 05:49 AM
Dominic Bannholzer got elected in a towns executive, what do they wanne to from there, take over Switzerland or what? :scratch:


Have to start somewhere, in Germany there were NSDAP Folk getting elected in the 20's. Once people saw that it did not cause the sky to fall they were amenable to more NSDAP Politicians :)

werwolf1488
Thursday, May 5th, 2005, 01:50 PM
I wish it could be that way, but the mood in Switzerland is so anti far-right, I don't see really big successes in the near future. The Media is agitating so heavy, if there is only a small success like this election, they were already crying and screaming to scare the people.