- Freedom Party of Switzerland
The Freedom Party of Switzerland (FPS) ( _de. Freiheits-Partei der Schweiz; _fr. Parti suisse de la liberté / PSL) is a minor populist
right-wing political partyin Switzerland. Its president and leading representative is Jürg Scherrer, the head of the security department in the city government of Biel/Bienne.
The FPS was founded 1984 in
Zürichby Michael E. Dreherand other right-wing politicians as "Autopartei" ( _en. AutomobileParty). It was intended to be a counterpart to the Green Party of Switzerlandand the contemporary concerns about the supposed " Waldsterben" due to acid rain. Focusing initially on personal mobility issues, one of its more well-known slogans was "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger" ("A free road for free citizens").
The party enjoyed moderate success in the cantonal parliaments, particularly in St. Gallen,
Thurgauand Schaffhausen). The height of its power was reached in the 1991 National Council elections, when it captured 8 out of 200 seats and 4% of the national vote. Afterwards, the party's fortunes started to decline as many leading figures left the party in the course of internal disputes, mainly for the more mainstream Swiss People's Party. Despite re-naming itself to "Freedom Party" in 1994, the FPS lost all national mandates in the 1999 elections and, as of 2006, retains but a very few parliamentary seats in some cantonal and municipal parliaments.
The FPS campaigns on a pronounced
right-wingagenda, advocating strict asylum and immigration laws, as well as a law and order approach to crime and drugs and a strong Swiss Army. It opposes Swiss membership in international organisations, but favors a laissez-faireeconomic policy, deregulation, tax cuts and a reduction of state spending. [De icon [http://www.freiheits-partei.ch/article-369-parteiprogramm-fps.html Party platform of May 8, 1999] on the party's website]
The party and its exponents are also noted for their aggressive rhetoric, at least compared to that of mainstream Swiss parties. Its leader
Jürg Scherrerhas been (unsuccessfully) sued several times under Swiss anti-discrimination laws on account of his disparaging statements about black peopleand foreigners in general. The following excerpts from a statement of Scherrer's, posted on the party's website in 2006, may serve to illustrate the party's take on current issues:
*De icon [http://www.freiheits-partei.ch/ Website of the Freedom Party of Switzerland]
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