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Leuenberger paves way for elections next month

Merz (left) and Leuenberger, seen here during this year's cabinet outing, will step down at the same time Keystone

Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger is to step down in October to allow parliament to elect two new cabinet ministers next month.

This content was published on August 9, 2010 - 17:32

Leuenberger, who initially announced his resignation for the end of the year, has decided to bring forward the date for political reasons, according to a statement by his ministry on Monday.

The exact date will be announced after a cabinet meeting next week.

There have been calls by political parties and the media for Leuenberger to step down earlier than originally planned after Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz announced his resignation on Friday. Merz will go in October.

Leuenberger’s decision paves the way for cabinet elections by parliament on September 22.

His centre-left Social Democratic Party has praised Leuenberger for showing a sense of responsibility.

The seven-member cabinet is made up of representatives of five parties. The Social Democrats and Merz’s party, the centre-right Radicals, have two seats each and are expected to hold on to them.

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the Greens say they will also mount a challenge.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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