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Festivities for newly elected

Hundreds of people have welcomed the newly elected cabinet minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, in her home town near Chur in eastern Switzerland.

Also on Thursday, next year's Swiss president, Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, travelled to his home town of Martigny to celebrate with the local population and dignitaries.

Speakers highlighted the importance of cooperation between different political parties under the Swiss consensus-based system.

It's the second time since 2003 that Couchepin will take over the rotating – and largely ceremonial post of Swiss president.

Widmer-Schlumpf, a liberal member of the rightwing Swiss People's Party, on Thursday formally accepted her election by parliament.

She replaces controversial party colleague and Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, who was voted out after four years in the cabinet.


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