An election that will go down in the history of the City of Neuchâtel

An election that will go down in the history of the City of Neuchâtel
An election that will go down in the history of the City of Neuchâtel

Pink, green and purple. Three colors for a victory, that of the PS, the environmentalist party and the feminist struggle. The resounding success of the joint socialist and green list on Sunday during the second round of the municipal council election will go down in history. This Sunday, May 12, 2024 is to be marked with a milestone for the left which succeeded in having its four representatives elected, namely the Greens Nicole Baur and Johanna Lott Fischer and the socialists Julie Courcier Delafontaine and Jonathan Gretillat. The only right-wing elected official, outgoing PLR Violaine Blétry-de Montmollin is, however, concerned about the turn the political debates will take within the legislature. “I think a blocking policy is not good, but that is the risk with such an imbalance. That’s what worries me the most “.

On the left, the reading is not the same. The socialist Jonathan Gretillat is confident and relies on the good will of everyone to work for the public cause and the good of the population. “I am not too worried, because it is in the Swiss political DNA that, whatever the composition of a government, it works with a parliament and must always refer to the population. We are not in a country like France where there is this kind of tension.”

“Women in power”

Another notable fact that emerges from this election is the female majority which is, certainly, not a first in the history of the Neuchâtel Municipal Council (there were three between 2018 and 2020). But with four women out of five members, it is indeed historic. The socialist Julie Courcier Delafontaine nevertheless notes “that it is quite surprising to have to say that it is historic, we have never said: have four men in an executive (…) Above all, I believe that it is five skills” .

Before joining the municipal council of the cantonal capital four years ago, Nicole Baur headed the equality office of the Canton of Neuchâtel. La Verte can only welcome this accession of women to executive functions. “It’s also the evolution of the times (…) and it’s also a very beautiful political message.”

Jonathan Gretillat will therefore be the only representative of the male gender within the future Municipal Council of the City. And it is with a touch of humor that he analyzes this hitherto unprecedented situation. “There you go, I am perhaps the first quota man in history, elected perhaps because I am a man and not for my skills. More seriously, I think it also shows that there are high expectations, that things are changing and mentalities as well.”

In addition to being predominantly female and on the left, this new municipal council of Neuchâtel will also be three-fifths renewed. Johanna Lott Fischer, Julie Courcier Delafontaine and Jonathan Gretillat will replace the non-reelected outgoing Didier Boillat and Mauro Moruzzi as well as Thomas Facchinetti who, after 12 years in the City executive, did not stand for re-election. /jpp


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