Pierre Maudet

Having once dreamed of becoming a Federal Councillor, he now risks finding himself out of a job. It is said that the higher they come, the harder they fall – and this certainly suits the erstwhile strongman of the Geneva Cantonal Council, Pierre Maudet, who has been forced to cede most of his responsibilities in the wake of the Abu Dhabi affair. The scandal centres on a luxury trip in 2015 for the councillor, his family and his chief of staff paid for by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Maudet had claimed that a friend had picked up the tab. What followed was a steady stream of lies, confessions, excuses and new insights into a nebulous system of political financing. Less than a year before the federal elections, meanwhile, The Liberals (FDP) find themselves under pressure due to rivalries between the party’s liberal and radical wings. Pierre Maudet is hanging on, even though he is facing legal action over claims he accepted benefits following an inquiry launched in 2017. How could this master communicator and unflappable army captain, who was re-elected in a first-round ballot in 2018, commit such blunders? The leading theory borrows from Greek tragedy in the form of the concept of hubris, that arrogant sense of superiority among human beings that invariably attracts cruel punishment from the gods.

Stéphane Herzog

Comments (0)

Write new comment

Comments are approved within one to three days. The editorial team reserves the right not to publish discriminatory, racist, defamatory or inflammatory comments. Our detailed comment rules are available here.

The last elections, which took place four years ago, led to a shift to the right in Switzerland. What was the impact of the change in political power?...

Read more

After his European record-breaking 10 kilometre run in Durban at the end of 2018, Julien Wanders entered the ranks of the world’s top long-distance...

Read more

A Swiss company wants to vacuum the No. 1 climate killer from the air and turn it into limestone deep in the earth

Read more

Dinner is served! But is what we see here delicious – or off-putting? The exhibition Food Revolution 5.0 addresses this conundrum and serves up...

Read more

Auslandschweizer Organisation
Alpenstrasse 26
3006 Bern, Schweiz

tel +41 31 356 61 10
fax +41 31 356 61 01