Billionaire politician Christoph Blocher, the driving force behind the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (UDC), has resigned from the House of Representatives, with effect from the end of May. Blocher has long been an outspoken critic of parliament and, indeed, of most Swiss political institutions. He is leaving to pursue other political goals.
The 73-year-old former justice minister has been unrelentingly dismissive of the political establishment, often positioning himself as the rational business-minded advocate of pragmatism. A view not readily shared by his opponents. His explanation for his departure holds true to form, with his claim that the political system is inefficient and best left to what he somewhat disdainfully refers to as “professional politicians”.
Blocher’s parliamentary voting record clearly corroborates his lack of respect for Swiss political institutions – he has voted less than any other member of the house.
Known as a challenging thinker by some political elites and as a maverick by others, Blocher has stated that he intends to focus on the fight against further Swiss-EU agreements and government moves to undermine the implementation of the mass immigration initiative. For those attempting to repair the damage that they perceive has been caused by the recent anti-immigration vote, Blocher’s decision to operate outside the country’s democratic institutions is unlikely to be a welcome development.