One of the most flamboyant – and controversial – women in parliament is taking her bow. Isabelle Chevalley (liberal / VD) announces her resignation from the National Council where she will have served ten years, thus signing her retirement as an active politician. “I have come to the end of a cycle”, she confides in Time. His future? He is currently without a net. She intends to live at least half of the year in Africa where she intends to carry out several projects in the field of waste recycling.
This passionate love for Africa had earned him an avalanche of criticism last fall. As a right-wing woman not hesitating to criticize NGOs, she had taken a stand against the initiative for responsible companies, fearing that Swiss firms would leave certain countries to make way for less scrupulous multinationals. The supporters of the initiative had accused it sometimes of “corruption”, sometimes of “neocolonialism”. They also wondered whether the diplomatic passport she received four years ago from the President of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso as an advisor was compatible with her mandate as a national advisor. The office of the National Council, which was to investigate this case, can close the case.
About the reviews, in November 2020:
“I lost my patience”
“In politics, you need to have two essential qualities: patience and perseverance. However, I lost my patience, ”explains Isabelle Chevalley, visibly relieved to have made this decision. Everything is changing very slowly in Switzerland. When she arrives under the Cupola, she pleads with Dominique de Buman (PDC / FR) for the ban of single-use plastic bags. Miracle: the National Council as that of the States follow them. But the administration takes five years to deliver a still unsatisfactory branch agreement, today denounced by The Greens. Another example cited by the one who is still president of Suisse Eole: “In thirty years, we have only succeeded in erecting 42 turbines in Switzerland. In Senegal, they installed 46 in a year and a half! ”
“I want to go where things are going,” she deduces. But in fact, the liberal virtue has been overtaken by its second identity, beautifully summed up by a Burkinabe friend. “Isabelle has white skin, but a black heart.” Everything about her breathes Africa, which she has traveled for many years. She hopes to spend at least six months a year in Africa, especially in Burkina Faso – a country of 20 million inhabitants seven times the size of Switzerland, but whose GDP hardly exceeds 15 billion dollars -, the time of ” deepen their knowledge of the problems.
She intends to get involved in three areas: agriculture, renewable energies and of course waste management, a question on which she has written a book: “Only by going to collect waste with the women in charge. from this work that you understand the concrete problems that arise, ”she assures us. “In development aid, there are too many projects parachuted from the West without taking into account the culture of the people,” she laments. Isabelle Chevalley is enraged when she sees poorly organized waste collections to make compost in which there is too much plastic. “When Switzerland supports such a type of project in Africa, it contributes to the spreading of plastic in the fields …”
What will be one of his last political debates, at “Temps”, about the burqa with Léonore Porchet:
“Politics is also violence”
La Vaudoise is not the type to look back on the past. A woman of action and passion, she has always stood up to her convictions, never hesitating to take a position that would isolate her even in her political family. His numerous fights have sometimes earned him the admiration of his political opponents for his “courage to displease”, but also many blows and insults on social networks, hate speech particularly affecting women. “Politics is passion, but also violence. You have to know how to forge a shell, especially us women, because we are not forgiven. “
It really happened very quickly. After a doctorate in phytochemistry, Isabelle Chevalley first joined the Liberal Party before being expelled from it when she created a list for the federal elections of the “Liberal Ecology” movement in 2007. Politically stateless for a few years, she then founded the Parti vert’libéral vaudois, which won a seat on the National Council in 2011. For eight years, she was the only figurehead from Romandy of this party which was nevertheless a hit on the other side of the Sarine. “I spent fifteen years explaining that we could marry economy and ecology, which everyone now admits.”
Today, she holds another innovative discourse that disturbs. “The fight against poverty in Africa is not primarily the task of development aid as some believe in Switzerland, but that of the economy”, she affirms. “When you say that to the left, you get hanged,” she adds, laughing loudly. At the National Council, she should give way to engineer Céline Weber Koppenburg.