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Government Political parties jostle for Swiss cabinet seats after green gains

Swiss parliament

Parliament must now decide the composition of the next Federal Council executive body.

(© Keystone / Anthony Anex)

Following huge gains in the general election, Switzerland’s two green parties are lining themselves up for seats in the seven-member executive cabinet, according to the Sunday newspapers.  

The Green and Liberal Green parties have found an unlikely ally in Christoph Blocher, a powerhouse figure in the right-wing People’s Party, says the Sonntagszeitungexternal link. Blocher is advocating a seat at the high table for both parties, to replace one member of each the Social Democrats and Radical parties.

This would leave the People’s Party as the only political party with two cabinet seats. Such a plan would shake-up the “magic formula” that determines that the three most popular parties get two seats each, with one seat awarded to the next largest party (according to parliamentary seats).

Social Democrat leader Christian Levrat has argued to the SonntagsBlickexternal link that the government should be expanded to nine members to allow participation from the green parties without seeing other parties lose out.

Some newspapers are reporting that the Greens are targeting Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis’s seat in cabinet. According to these articles, the Radical party member appears particularly vulnerable when parliament gets together later this year to decide on the composition of the new cabinet.

But this might upset voters in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland as Cassis is the sole representative from this area in cabinet.

Following each general election parliament votes on who should sit in the multi-party government, which is also known as Federal Councilexternal link

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