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Switzerland voters reject deportation referendum

[JURIST] The citizens of Switzerland on Sunday rejected a proposed referendum that would require immediate, automatic deportation of any foreign national who was convicted of two crimes within a 10-year period. The vote was decided by a margin of 58.9 percent against and 41.1 percent in favor [IBT report] of the law. The proposed initiative was introduced by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) [party website]. The law would have instilled a strict two-violation policy encompassing violations for all offenses, including minor traffic violations.

In Switzerland's most recent national parliamentary elections, the SVP won the largest share of the votes [Telegraph report]. Political experts argue the aggregate electoral results signal a "slide to the right" in Swiss politics. Additionally, the SVP is known for its anti-immigration policies. In 2010 Swiss voters approved [JURIST report] a SVP-sponsored deportation initiative to amend the Swiss Constitution to allow the immediate deportation of foreigners who commit violent or sexual offenses. The list of crimes range from serious offenses such as murder, rape and drug trafficking, to nonviolent crimes, including social security fraud and false claims for welfare benefits.

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