| Leftists campaign for cantonal elections Photo via Communist Party of Switzerland | MR Online Leftists campaign for cantonal elections. (Photo: via Communist Party of Switzerland)

Leftist parties intensify campaign to maintain Swiss neutrality

Originally published: Peoples Dispatch on March 14, 2023 (more by Peoples Dispatch)  |

Leftist parties in Switzerland, including the Communist Party and the Swiss Party of Labor (PST-POP), have intensified their campaign demanding that the official Swiss policy of neutrality in international conflicts be maintained. Both parties have prioritized this demand in their manifestos for the upcoming April cantonal elections and the federal elections in October.

Earlier this month, the Communist Party organized ground-level campaigns in the neighborhoods of Bellinzona, Locarno, Mendrisio, and Lugano, in the Ticino canton, and collected signatures for its neutrality initiative.

The policy of neutrality in international conflicts has been one of the pillars of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland currently remains outside of military blocs like NATO. However, leftist sections within the country have been protesting the government’s covert support for NATO and EU towards escalating the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Massimiliano Arif Ay from the leadership of the Communist Party told Peoples Dispatch on March 13,

The issue of neutrality is particularly important to us: it is a guarantee not only of mediation in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but also of security and sovereignty to prevent the Atlanticist circles of the bourgeoisie from pushing further for a strong Swiss rapprochement to NATO.

Regarding the upcoming cantonal elections, he said,

In the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino in Switzerland, general elections will be held on April 2. The Communist Party has submitted a list with the Swiss [Party of Labor] (PST-POP) under the proportional system. The Communist Party’s goal is to maintain its current two seats. The campaign is based on three key words: neutrality, labor rights, and public service against privatization (understood as re-nationalization of, for example, postal services).

“The worrying fact is the Russophobic and bellicose turn of the Greens and Social Democrats. The Swiss Socialist Party together with the Trotskyists, after years of chattering about the need to abolish the army and non-violence, would now suddenly even like to export Swiss arms to the Ukrainian army,” he added.

Meanwhile, PST-POP has called to “stop delivery of equipment, weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian army and demanded the Swiss government to commit to Swiss diplomacy and negotiations.” It also supported the peace demonstration held in Zurich in the last week of February.

Alexander Eniline from the leadership of PST-POP told Peoples Dispatch on March 13, “The party is currently preparing for the elections in the two chambers of [the] Swiss national parliament, which will take place in October. The national conference of our party that will take place on April 22 will discuss and adopt our program for these elections. We will launch a campaign for price control against the current inflation, against the dismantlement of social security and for its enforcement, for the extension of the rights of the working class, and for an ecological policy based on social justice. We are also opposed to the alignment of Switzerland with the NATO and US imperialist agenda,” and support “a policy of peace in Ukraine instead of an escalation of war, and against re-exportation of Swiss weapons. We support Swiss neutrality on that measure.”

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