Move to block Swiss F-35 purchase gains support
Credits: JOHN THYS / AFP

Move to block Swiss F-35 purchase gains support

A Swiss alliance seeking to block the purchase of F-35 fighter jets said Friday it had received nearly enough support to put the controversial military contract to a referendum.

The left-wing Stop F-35 alliance said it had almost secured the 100,000 signatures required under Switzerland's direct democracy system to force an issue to a vote.

The consortium has said it does not want the jets because they are costly, and because of a number of technical issues reported with the planes.

They hope to have gathered more than enough signatures to present their initiative to block the jet purchase within coming months.

It meanwhile remains unclear when the vote would be put on the agenda in Switzerland, where popular votes on a vast array of issues are held every few months.

"Due to the exploding costs of the F-35, the foreign policy consequences and the many flaws of this combat aircraft, this debate is necessary and urgent", Marionna Schlatter, from the Green party and a member of Stop-35, said in a statement.

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