There have been clashes in Switzerland between police and leftist activists who were protesting against an election rally by the right wing Swiss People’s Party. Police moved in to clear demonstrators after they blocked the square outside the parliament in Berne where the rally was to be held.
With two weeks to the election, the Swiss People’s Party is leading the polls by around four percent. Leader Christoph Blocher lashed out at the protestors as aggressors who could not tolerate the views of others. His party’s campaign has featured a poster portraying foreigners as black sheep being kicked out of the country by white sheep.
They have also campaigned against Islamic minarets in Swiss cities. The violence in Berne indicates how unusually divisive this election has been. Blocher’s party won the largest share of the vote in 2003 and appears on course to repeat that success. The Socialists are trailing second, with the centre-right liberals third.