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Brunner sets out conditions for party leadership

Christiane Brunner (pictured) has said she is prepared to run for the presidency of the Social Democratic Party, but only if key reforms are undertaken.

Christiane Brunner (pictured) has said she is prepared to run for the presidency of the Social Democratic Party, but only if key reforms are undertaken.

The minister in the Geneva parliament said these "structural reforms" had to allow the party leadership to respond more quickly to political changes. Brunner also called for greater involvement of local party sections in key decisions.

Brunner is part of the three-member committee charged with formulating party changes in the wake of Ursula Koch's resignation. The federal cousellor, Ruth Dreifuss, and Franco Cavalli are the other two members.

Brunner has insisted that she will continue with her role as president of Unia, the union for industry, construction and services. Unia announced on May 23 1999 that Brunner would quit her post at the end of October 2000. The date coincides with the Social Democrats' meeting in Lugano where the party will decide on Ursula Koch's successor and party reforms.

Ursula Koch resigned on April 16, amidst a wave of internal party divisions and calls for her resignation. Political analysts observed that the internal drama surrounding Koch's leadership reflected the party's identity problem. The party, which once appealed to working class voters, had become increasingly middle class.

swissinfo with agencies

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