In Valais, the Green candidates withdraw from the race for the Council of State, Christophe Darbellay elected

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In Valais, the two green candidates Brigitte Wolf and Magali Di Marco, left behind in the first round on Sunday, withdraw from the election to the Council of State. The six remaining candidates – three PDC, a PLR, a PS and a UDC – will compete for the five seats available. Christophe Darbellay is de facto elected.

“The discussion was difficult but it seemed complicated to us to justify a green presence in the second round,” said the president of the Valais Greens Jean-Pascal Fournier on Monday evening. Difficult, because by launching two candidates, the Greens also wanted to avoid a 100% male executive, towards which the canton is heading. But “the sauce did not take during the first round, it would undoubtedly have taken even less during the second,” he summarizes.

About that: Valais ready to elect a historic government

Pressure from the socialists

In addition, the Socialists expressed the wish that Mathias Reynard be alone on the list, adds Jean-Pascal Fournier. The party calls to vote for Saviésan in order to maintain the seat of the left but gives no other slogan. On the other hand, it invites citizens “to find out as well as possible about the environmental sensitivities of each of the candidates”.

With the withdrawal of Magali di Marco, the PDC Christophe Darbellay is de facto elected, because he is the only candidate domiciled in the constitutional region of Bas-Valais, as was already the case in 2017. Article 52 of the cantonal constitution requires the presence in the government of at least one representative per constitutional region: Haut-Valais, Valais Central and Bas-Valais.

For its part, “the PDC Council unanimously voted to renew our list of C parties in the second round with Christophe Darbellay, Serge Gaudin and Roberto Schmidt”, wrote in the evening the PDC of Valais Romand on social networks.

Read also: In Valais, a Grand Council more purple than ever

Six men in the running

On Sunday, Christian Democrat Roberto Schmidt came out on top in an election he has dominated throughout, however missing the absolute majority and an election in the first round. He is followed by Christophe Darbellay and the socialist Mathias Reynard. The national councilor is placed just in front of the outgoing liberal-radical Frédéric Favre. In fifth and sixth position are the third PDC candidate Serge Gaudin and the UDC Franz Ruppen, in a pocket handkerchief, some 700 votes apart.

At the end of the ballot on Sunday, the candidates said they were “confident” while stressing the importance “of staying focused for the second round” while “nothing had yet been decided”. During the second round scheduled for March 28, all eyes will be on Haut-Valais, which is known to know how to mobilize when it comes to defending its representation in government.