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Burkhalter to take over interior ministry

Newly-elected cabinet minister Didier Burkhalter will take over the interior ministry from his predecessor, Pascal Couchepin.

This content was published on September 18, 2009 - 14:36

The other six ministers will keep their existing portfolios, the Federal Chancellery said in a statement on Friday.

The announcement ends speculation over whether the 49-year-old centre-right Radical would take the place of Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

Switzerland's parliamentarians voted Burkhalter into the cabinet on Wednesday who will officially take office on November 1.

Burkhalter will be in charge of a cash-strapped social security system and will have to tackle rising healthcare costs.

His ministry also includes culture, research and education.

A switching of portfolios is relatively rare. It last occurred in 2002 after the election of Calmy-Rey, when Couchepin exchanged his economics portfolio for the interior ministry. Calmy-Rey took over the foreign ministry from Joseph Deiss.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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