American expats prepare for election night parties


by Malcolm Curtis|The Local, Switzerland| November 5, 2012

Election fever has struck Switzerland’s American expat community, with all-night parties planned across the country on Tuesday to celebrate the vote for the US president.

Incumbent President Barack Obama from the Democrats is neck-and-neck with Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a race that will not be decided before early Wednesday morning Swiss time.

But organizers of soirees in Swiss cities are not letting a little thing like a difference in time zones interfere with a good get-together.

The biggest parties in the country are planned for Geneva, where the American International Club (AIC) is hosting what it is calling the “only free and non-partisan” presidential election night party in the city.

The club has rented the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where a jazz band will be playing until 1am and results will be shown on giant TV screens.

“We’re expecting about 1,000 people,” Kirsten Strömstad, AIC executive director, told The Local.

Representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties will have tables at the event, along with members of the American Citizens’ Abroad organization, she said.

The AIC election night party is a tradition dating back to 1980 and it attracts a lot of non-Americans too, Strömstad said.

“A lot of different people come because (the outcome) will have a big impact on the world,” she said.

Strömstad expects the verdict won’t be known until well into the morning.

“Normally we expect the results at 3am but that depends on the swing states.”

The AIC is putting on a three-course election night dinner for those willing to cough up 150 francs (130 francs for club members with registration in advance).

And for those with the stamina, an election results breakfast debate is scheduled for 8am on Wednesday.

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About Malcolm Curtis

Freelance English-language communications professional (writing, editing, translations) based near Geneva, Switzerland. Let me know if I can help you.
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