March 18, 2020 / 2:48 PM / 22 days ago

Swiss vote on EU free movement accord falls victim to virus

ZURICH, March 18 (Reuters) - Switzerland on Wednesday called off a May 17 referendum on preserving an accord with the European Union guaranteeing the free movement of people, as the spreading coronavirus pandemic overrode the Swiss system of direct democracy.

The government had urged voters last month to reject the proposal by the right-wing Swiss People's Party to end the free-movement accord in the binding vote that was being called Switzerland's "Brexit moment". (Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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