The support of SP Federal Councilor Alain Berset at his party base is dwindling.
The affair surrounding the Corona leaks does not leave the Social Democrats untouched. The former head of communications from SP Federal Councilor Alain Berset (50) is said to have continuously provided Ringier boss Marc Walder with information about measures taken during the Covid pandemic.
When Berset and his ex-spokesman Peter Lauener (52) are criticized in the media every day, at least the base does not leave them cold. She wants clarity about what information and to what extent has flowed to the CEO of Ringier, which also publishes Blick.
burden for the comrades
As the “NZZ am Sonntag” writes, party members see the SP facing a difficult election year. Berset, Federal President this year, threatens to become a burden for the comrades.
So the SP leadership is doing what it has to do – and trying to verbally contain the scope of the scandal and thus keep the collateral damage for the parliamentary elections on October 22 as small as possible.
The SVP, on the other hand, sees a state affair in the 180 messages that were exchanged between Lauener and Walder according to “Switzerland at the weekend”. Various media report just as critically. This has consequences: “Of course it’s not great news,” says Aargau SP local politician Lucia Engeli to “NZZ am Sonntag”. It is important “that this is clarified”. For them, the SP stands for transparency. “You can’t go easy on your own people,” says Engeli.
“One affair too many”
“This affair is one too many,” says Grenchner councilor Daniel Hafner. “That will fall back on the SP in the election year,” he is convinced. And for the Grenchner SP President Angela Kummer, Bundesbern is a long way away, but the events are “certainly not good for the party,” she admits.
For SP local councilor Hafner, Berset seems to have lost traction. “He developed arrogantly,” he says. «The name SP is associated with decency and integrity. And I expect that our federal councilors and the party leadership will also represent these values,” he said.
Blick boss Dorer disagrees
According to the “NZZ am Sonntag”, various partisans believe that the affair is being exaggerated by the media. But numerous votes are surprisingly critical: “The problem is the amount of stories,” said SP member Cyrille Meier from Wohlen AG. The affair has “political consequences,” he even told the newspaper. It’s no longer just about Federal Councilor Berset’s private life.
The main allegation in the scandal is that Berset’s department passed on the confidential information to the Ringier boss so that the Blick editorial team could influence public opinion in Berset’s favor. Berset wanted to put pressure on the Federal Council as a whole. Christian Dorer (47), editor-in-chief of the Blick Group, contradicted this representation in a statement on the front page of Blick entitled “No one influences Blick!”.
Party leadership is reserved
At the end of the week, various party figureheads such as former SP Councilor Pascale Bruderer (45) and union leader and National Councilor Pierre-Yves Maillard (54) were less willing to provide information than the SP base members. The latter – otherwise always available for a sharp statement – had nothing to say for once. Co-party president Cédric Wermuth (36) also did not want to comment on the subject.
Internally, however, Berset’s behavior seems to be increasingly becoming an issue. (pt)