Swiss politician resigns after harassment allegations

Yannick Buttet (front of picture) faces questions about his alleged behaviour Keystone

Parliamentarian Yannick Buttet has resigned from the House of Representatives, the Swiss news agency reported on Sunday evening, citing Buttet's lawyer.

This content was published on December 17, 2017 - 19:00 and agencies/ilj

It had been revealed earlier on Sunday that Buttet was facing criminal proceedings linked to an allegation of stalking.

Buttet had resigned as vice-president of the centre-right Christian Democratic Party when the allegation first came to light around two weeks ago. He had already been suspended by his party.

His resignation from parliament is with immediate effect and was taken in the interests of his family and the party, said the statement made via lawyer Andreas Meili. The decision was made independently from the criminal proceedings, the results of which are still open, the statement added.

The Christian Democrats said on Sunday evening that the party acknowledged Buttet's resignation. It also quoted Buttet's statementExternal link

The Valais justice authorities said on Sunday that the criminal proceedings were for suspected coercion, confirming information that appeared in the media.

The proceedings relate to a complaint made against Buttet to police for stalking. He is alleged to have rung the doorbell of an ex-lover in the southwestern Swiss city of Sion so many times during a night in November that she called the police. 

There have since also been allegations in the media - also during this weekend - of inappropriate behaviour towards other women, including fellow parliamentarians.

+ Read here what to do if sexual harassment happens to you in Switzerland

Buttet has withdrawn from the public spotlight. He said at the time of his resignation as party vice-president that he would check himself into treatment for alcohol problems. 

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