Swiss Seen Backing Initiative on Expulsion of Foreigners: SRG

  • Vote on so-called enforcement initiative to be held on Feb. 28
  • Referendums part of Swiss tradition of direct democracy

A narrow majority of voters would say “yes” to an initiative to expel foreigners convicted of crimes, a poll for Switzerland’s national broadcaster found.

Up for a ballot on Feb. 28 is whether authorities should be required to expel people convicted of crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery automatically. Those with a prior criminal record could face expulsion for lesser offenses. The measure builds upon a popular initiative already approved in 2010.

Fifty-one percent of voters would have backed the measure, dubbed the “enforcement initiative,” had voting been conducted on Jan. 12, according to the survey by gfs.bern for national broadcaster SRG. The questionnaire, conducted Jan. 11-15, found that 42 percent were against it, with 7 percent undecided. The margin of error was plus/minus 2.7 percentage points.

Referendums are a key feature of Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, and are held nationally and at a municipal level several times a year.

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