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New centre-right party holds first assembly

Switzerland's newest party, the Conservative Democratic Party held its first assembly of delegates in Thun on Saturday.

The group was founded in November 2008 by members of the right-wing Swiss People's Party, unhappy with what they saw as the high-handed methods of the party leadership.

Party president Hans Grunder said the party should aim to win ten seats in the next parliamentary elections in 2011, against the six it holds at present. It should field candidates in at least half the cantons, of which at least three should be in the French-speaking part, he said.

He stressed the importance of achieving good results in cantonal elections in its strongholds of Bern and Graubünden, since that would make a national impact.

The opening address to the assembly, which was attended by over 100 delegates, was delivered by the party's only cabinet member, Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

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