Scandal-plagued politician makes return to Geneva cantonal government

Maudet released a statement saying he was aware that this "second chance" given by the people requires him to be "worthy of this renewed confidence.” © Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Pierre Maudet has been elected to the same executive body he was forced to resign from just three years ago. His past political career had been marred by scandal, including a conviction for accepting criminal perks while a member of the cantonal government.

This content was published on April 30, 2023

The once high-profile politician came in sixth place in the second round of voting on Sunday for the seven members of the cantonal government. The election of the 45-year-old, who created the movement Libertés et justice sociale (Freedoms and social justice) after being forced to leave the Radical-Liberal party, helped to push the majority in the government to the right.

In 2021 a cantonal court found Maudet guilty of accepting undue financial perks for a trip to Abu Dhabi paid for by the United Arab Emirates royal family while he served in the cantonal government. A year later, he was acquitted by an appeals court, but that ruling was overturned by the Federal Court in October 2022. The case is returning to the cantonal appeals court for another judgement

+ Acquittal of embattled Geneva politician overturned by Federal Court

Maudet, who once had aspirations of becoming a federal minister, had failed in a previous attempt to return to politics following his conviction.

On Sunday afternoon Maudet released a statement saying he was aware that this "second chance" given by the people requires him to be "worthy of this renewed confidence”, according to Le Temps newspaperExternal link.

"I do not see it as an absolution of my past mistakes, but on the contrary as the requirement of an expectation for results and a search for humility,” he said.

The Geneva executive will include four women for the first time in its history. The Radical-Liberal Nathalie Fontanet led the race in first place, followed by her running mate Anne Hiltpold.

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