Biggest Swiss party takes election aim at immigration, EU
Election candidates for the far-right Swiss People's Party, Switzerland's biggest, signed a "contract with the people" Sunday promising to deport foreign criminals and halt "mass immigration".
The "contract" also promises to fend off any moves for Switzerland to join the European Union.
About 200 party candidates for October parliamentary polls signed the document, printed on parchment, before a thousand party loyalists at a ceremony in Zurich.
A similar document signed ahead of federal elections in 2007 had slightly different priorities -- the top three then included tax cuts, now replaced by the promise to turn back immigration.
"We have the feeling that what concerns most people at the moment is immigration," party candidate Christoph Moergeli said at the ceremony.
Earlier this month, Swiss anti-racism authorities urged political parties to refrain from campaigning on racist platforms.
The Swiss People's Party has consistently sparked controversy over its campaigns.
In October 2010, it triggered a trans-border spat after it branded French commuters as "scum". But the party is most notorious for its signature poster depicting white sheep kicking a black sheep out of the Swiss flag.
The party, which already holds around a quarter of the seats in the federal assembly, is expected to make further gains in the upcoming elections.
© 2011 AFP