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Pirate Party takes Mayor's chair in Swiss city

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A Pirate Party branch founded last November has scored a win in regional elections in Switzerland, with the city of Eichberg to fly the pirate flag under new mayor, Alex Arnold.

The 31-year-old software developer is a local to the town and works for works as a developer for VRSG, which focuses on software and systems integration for the Swiss public sector.

Arnold defeated two candidates from the Swiss Peoples Party to take the part-time mayoralty and took 60 percent of the vote. But the Party made no dent on elections for the parliament of St Gallen and Gosseau, the Cantons around Eichberg.

The mayoral chains of Eichberg won't give the Pirate Party an enormous platform from which to push its policies: Wikipedia states the town's population is 1,481.

The win is nonetheless a fillip for the Pirate Party, which had its first successes in Germany soured by reports that the organization is in disarray in that country. Earlier this month, reports emerged of organizational problems – including non-payment of fees, in-fighting, and poor strategy.

The German organisation was also embarrassed last week when it emerged that party executive Julia Schramm’s publisher Random House is using DCMA takedown notices against those who pirate her book.

Swiss site 20Minutes Online said the Pirate Party’s earlier foray into politics in March harvested just 1.3 percent of the vote in local elections. ®

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