The chairman of the Swiss People's Party has criticised the cabinet sharply for its latest campaign for a "yes" vote on Swiss membership in the United Nations.
During a party conference, Ueli Maurer accused the government of trying to influence the nationwide vote on UN membership on March 3 with tax incentives.
He called this practice a major lapse in the cabinet's policies and accused the government of manipulating the people's opinions with public money. "Such practices will kill our direct democracy," he said.
The centre-right FDP, however, showed its support for Swiss membership in the United Nations by voting 155 for and 6 against it at the party conference on Sunday.
Polls suggest a tight race on March 3, but the last time a vote on the issue was held, Swiss citizens rejected joining the organisation by a three-to-one majority in 1986.
Apart from Switzerland, the Vatican is the only other nation that is not a full member of the United Nations.
swissinfo with agencies
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