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Switzerland: President, 2 Ministers Elected

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Local Editor

Switzerland's parliament on Wednesday elected the country's hardline finance minister to serve in the largely symbolic position of president next year, and also picked two women to fill vacant ministerial spots.

The choice of Ueli Maurer, a 68-year-old member of the populist rightwing Swiss People's Party, came as no surprise as it was his turn among the seven members of the Swiss government to take on the rotating one-year presidency.

Maurer, who has been a member of government since 2009 and previously served as defense minister, served as president once before in 2013.

The parliament picked Viola Amherd and Karin Keller-Sutter to fill two vacant ministerial spots, achieving near-gender equality in the cabinet.

With their elections, they join Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga in raising the number of women ministers to three. 

It remains unclear if Amherd and Keller-Sutter will receive the same ministerial posts as the colleagues they are replacing, since the seven ministers in the Federal Council choose their portfolios based on seniority.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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