The Swiss people say “yes” to the Covid certificate

The Swiss people say “yes” to the Covid certificate
The Swiss people say “yes” to the Covid certificate
Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Covid certificate wins skepticism and resistance with a majority that leaves no doubts. The amendment to the Covid-19 law, which also created the legal basis for the certificate, was approved by 62% of electricians and voters.

This content was published on November 28, 2021 – 6:18 pm

November 28, 2021 – 6:18 PM

Sarah Ibrahim

with agencies

The Covid certificate passes the ballot test without obstacles with 62% of the votes. The anti-Covid measures, fiercely contested in the Swiss squares, are therefore still meeting the favor of the majority of the Swiss electorate.

Not only the Covid certificate was under scrutiny, but also the extent of financial aid and contact tracking included in the amendment to the Covid-19 lawExternal Link.

Two cantons rejected the law amendment: Appenzell Innerrhoden, where the votes in favor did not exceed 44.2%, and Schwyz, with 51.4% of the votes against. The other cantons approved the legislation instead. Champion of the “yes” is Ticino, with 65.3% of the votes, surpassed only by Basel City (70.6%). In Grisons, the law was approved by 60.9% of citizens, while Appenzell Ausserrhoden (50.7%) appeared the most hesitant.

This is a vote that has fascinated the whole country: almost no other project in recent years has been so discussed and controversial. Proof of this is the very high turnout (equal to about 65%), the fourth highest since 1971, when women were granted the right to vote.

A clear confirmation

The Covid-19 law had already passed a first referendum and on 13 June it was approved by 60.2% of the electorate and rejected only in some cantons of central and eastern Switzerland, a bulwark of “resistance” against the measures introduced by the government to fight the pandemic.

This new vote confirms once again the favor of the population for the measures in force. In the German-speaking cantons, “yes” rose by around 4 percentage points, explained Lukas Golder, co-director of gfs.bern. “In particularly critical cantons, where there are mainly many unvaccinated people, more individuals voted ‘yes’ than in June”. Skepticism grew in Romandie.

An unsurprising result. Even the latest pollExternal Link carried out by the gfs.bern institute on behalf of the SSR ten days after the poll had found that adherence to the amendment External Linkthe law approved in March was stable at 61%, with an advantage of 23 percentage points over the “no” field.

The outcome of the survey was less clear in Fifth Switzerland, where the head to head between those who support and those who oppose the law was very close, with 49% “yes” versus 49% “no”.

The poll also highlighted that the polarization of society is increasingly marked on this issue. While in the far right and in the fringe of those who have not been vaccinated and harbor mistrust of the government, the opinion against the law has consolidated, on the left and in the center-right support for the change has increased.

“Accept the result”

Despite the victory of the “yes”, the tension does not diminish. The authorities have decided to close the Federal Square, the seat of the Swiss Parliament, after protest voices have risen from the “no” camp calling for people to take to the streets. However, only a few dozen people followed the appeals on social media and expressed their dissent in Bern.

According to the well-known political scientist Claude Longchamp, it would be the first time ever that the Federal Palace has been blocked due to a vote.

National councilor Regula Rytz (Verdi) has encouraged those who oppose the Covid-19 law to accept the referendum result. “In this way, the barriers in front of the Federal Palace will no longer be necessary,” the parliamentarian who lives in the capital told 20 Minuten.

opponents protesters federal square covid law

Protesters dressed as characters from the series “The house of paper” protest on the Bundesplatz in Bern after the announcement of the results of the referendum on the Covid-19 law, on Sunday 28 November 2021. Keystone / Anthony Anex

The Swiss Union of Entrepreneurs (USI) and the Swiss Trade Union Union (USS) also welcome the result. The clear “yes” to the Covid-19 law by the Swiss people represents the approval of a proportionate policy to fight the pandemic, says USI.

“As the development of the pandemic remains highly unpredictable, it is critical to maintain the legal basis for financial support to workers whose employment or income are at risk,” writes the USS in a statement today.

“The struggle for freedom continues”

The struggle for freedom, democracy and the rule of law continues: it is the reaction to the defeat of the committee that launched the referendum against the amendment of the law.

According to referendum and referendum women, the tightening of the Covid-19 law remains unconstitutional even after the “yes” of the people. In their view, the law is discriminatory and violates individual rights. The ‘no’ movement will therefore remain active to prevent what it considers a further dismantling of fundamental rights. In the next few days it will be announced what will be planned to follow up on this commitment.

“Even if the vote was lost, it is a great achievement of the Friends of the Constitution, the Action Alliance of the Primitive Cantons and the Info Vaccines Network that the Swiss population had the opportunity to form an opinion on the law and to vote on it. “, continues the note.

“Illegal vote”

The Mass-Voll movement, at the forefront of demonstrations against restrictive anti-pandemic measures, does not accept the result of the vote.

“In light of the massive irregularities, which in this entity have no example in recent history, we believe the outcome of the vote is not legitimate and not binding for us,” reads a statement released via Twitter.

Meanwhile, those who oppose the containment measures of Covid-19 launch a new political movement, “Aufrecht Schweiz” (Standing Switzerland). “Aufrecht Schweiz” is on the right track, says the president of the Friends of the Constitution Werner Boxler to the Keystone-ATS agency confirming the news that appeared in “Matin Dimanche” and “SonntagsZeitung”.

The referendum in brief

The referendum was voted on the amendment of the Covid-19 law of 19 March 2021. With this amendment, Parliament established the legal basis for the Covid certificate, subsequently introduced in September 2021, to allow people vaccinated, cured or in possession of negative tests to access restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theaters and major cultural and sporting events, otherwise inaccessible. The referendum also targeted the extension of some financial aid and contact tracing, which it called “mass surveillance.”

However, the project did not concern vaccination or other health measures introduced by the Federal Council, such as the obligation to wear a mask and the closure of activities, which are based on the law on epidemics approved by the people in 2013.

The positions of the two opposing camps

Opponents of the amendment to the law consider the new measures to be extreme and useless, as well as divisive, discriminatory and harmful to personal freedom. The “no” field defines the introduction of the certificate as an indirect vaccination obligation and believes that the new law further extends the powers of the government.

The “yes” field, on the other hand, defends the need to better manage the health crisis and the possibility for millions of people to return to normalcy. Those who support the text affirm that the adjustments to the law aim to better protect people and businesses, as well as to economically support a more important part of society, such as female and self-employed workers, cultural operators and organizing bodies. events, sports clubs and childcare institutions.

Finally, the change in law allows companies to continue to benefit from additional support should they resort to partial unemployment.

NEXT Betty White, the ‘Golden girl’ actress of American TV, was about to turn 100