Magdalena Martullo-Blocher, billionaire CEO of the EMS-Chemie group and daughter of controversial politician Christoph Blocher, has announced plans to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the upcoming national election.
Martullo-Blocher, 45, said on Monday she would stand for the conservative right Swiss People’s Party in the canton of Graubünden at the national elections on October 18. If elected, she plans to stay CEO of EMS-Chemie.
“Politics in Bern is currently marked by superficial knowledge and kneejerk reactions,” she said. “Overregulation and an unchecked expansion of the state is an increasing burden not only on the Swiss economy but also every individual.”
Business leaders with international experience were increasingly rare in the Swiss parliament, she continued. “But business basics such as autonomy, efficiency and pragmatism are also necessary and meaningful in politics. That is why I accepted the request to run as a candidate.”
Regarding the news that another Blocher generation was entering the Swiss political ring, the People’s Party said on Monday it was “delighted that a proven business leader” had put herself forward for election.
As boss and majority shareholder of Graubünden's largest company, Magdalena Martullo-Blocher was thoroughly aware of the situation and challenges facing Graubünden as a business location, the party said.
Martullo-Blocher is married to Roberto Martullo, former president of the local chapter of the Swiss People’s Party in Meilen, canton Zurich.
Christoph Blocher, 74, made his fortune with the Ems-Chemie group and in the 1990s transformed the People’s Party into Switzerland’s largest political bloc by aggressively opposing immigration and the European Union.
Successful popular initiatives by the party include banning the construction of minarets and, most recently, curbing EU immigration. The party’s infamous “black sheep” posters resulted in international condemnation and criticism from the United Nations.
When Blocher became a government minister (he held the justice portfolio) at the end of 2003, he transferred his shares in Ems-Chemie to his four children. Four years later, he became only the fourth cabinet minister in Swiss history to fail to win re-election. In 2011, he failed to win election to the Senate.
swissinfo.ch and agencies