The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Lisa Mazzone does not see the Greens in opposition

Lisa Mazzone, former member of the Council of States in Geneva, is expected to be elected President of the Swiss Green Party on Saturday. Despite the slump on environmental issues, she does not see her party as being in opposition.

"There is no government or opposition in Switzerland, this binary view is wrong," said Mazzone in an interview with the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" published on Thursday. Her party must use all political instruments, including popular initiatives and referendums. "If you're just angry, you won't achieve anything."

As Mazzone is no longer represented in parliament, she sees herself as the Green Party president in the role of "travel empress" - following the example of the German Green Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck. She has spoken to Habeck - who was also not a member of parliament during his time as Green Party President - in recent months. "It was interesting to hear how important it was for him to talk to lots of people. In Switzerland, it is even easier to travel around the country," said Mazzone.

Greens want to join the Federal Council

Mazzone reiterated her party's desire for a seat on the Federal Council. "We want to be in the Federal Council," she said. Not demanding a seat with 10 percent of the electorate would be "simply a denial of responsibility". Mazzone did not say which party the Greens should enter the Federal Council at the expense of. "It makes a difference whether a Green is there or not," she said. A seat at the expense of the SP was not explicitly ruled out. "In terms of content, the SP is our most important partner, but as soon as it comes to power, we have to look after ourselves," said Mazzone.

After the Federal Council election in December, Green Party President Balthasar Glättli had already distanced himself from the SP. "We no longer owe the SP anything," he told Tamedia at the time. "We have to look after ourselves from now on." The reason for this was the SP's refusal to support the Green attack on the FDP seat of Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis.

©Keystone/SDA

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