New party in canton Bern

The split in the rightwing Swiss People's Party widened on Saturday with the foundation of a new party by dissidents in canton Bern.

This content was published on June 21, 2008 minutes

It is to be called the Conservative Democratic Party. Defence Minister Samuel Schmid has announced that he will join it.

At the founding conference, 225 people signed up and agreed on its statutes. The party leadership will now draw up a detailed policy programme.

The members are unhappy with the hardline policies of the national leadership of the People's Party. They say they represent the traditional values of the party.

The split in the People's Party between hardliners and moderates became evident earlier this year when the leadership accused Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf of working against party interests by accepting election in the place of the charismatic but controversial Christoph Blocher and called on her to resign from the party.

She refused to do so, and her local chapter in Canton Graubünden refused to expel her. Widmer-Schlumpf supporters in Graubünden formed their own new party on June 16.

People's Party dissidents in Canton Glarus are also expected to establish a new cantonal party.

A new national party will probably be set up by the autumn.

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?