Interior Minister Dreifuss

Swiss Interior Minister Ruth Dreifuss was re-elected to the cabinet by a joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

This content was published on December 15, 1999 - 13:31

Swiss Interior Minister Ruth Dreifuss was re-elected to the cabinet by a joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

She was confirmed with 148 votes in the 245-seat parliament. Her main challenger, Christoph Blocher of the right-wing Swiss People's Party, got 58 votes.

The vote is part of a traditional re-election procedure, which follows parliamentary elections. Those were held in October and showed the Swiss People's Party gaining the most seats in the House of Representatives.

Brief profile:

Ruth Dreifuss: Elected to cabinet in 1993. Social Democrat and Interior Minister who has led a sustained campaign to improve the welfare state. She has called for social coherence and solidarity in society – even if it costs more. She wanted the introduction of a maternity leave insurance programme and came out against raising women’s retirement age to 65. But Swiss voters did not follow her advice. Many parliamentarians consider her too pushy a Social Democrat, and she has regularly been at the bottom of the cabinet popularity poll. Some observers say Dreifuss has the dual “handicap” of being a woman cabinet minister and a Social Democrat.

From staff and wire reports.

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