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Leuthard Swiss cabinet to face more vacancies until 2019

Leuthard has been in government since 2006, but she won't stand for re-election in 2019 

(Keystone)

As the race to replace the outgoing foreign minister gathers pace, the transport minister, Doris Leuthard, has announced she will step down by autumn 2019.

In interviews with public radio and television on the eve of National Day, Leuthard said she had no plans to take over the foreign ministry following the resignation of Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter in September.

“This is certainly my last term in office,” she said, indicating that she will step down before the next elections in 2019.

However, she declined to give further details.

The 54-year old Leuthard, who is a member of the centrist Christian Democratic Party, has the portfolio of transport, energy, environment and communications minister.

She also holds the rotating post of Swiss president this year – the second time in her political career. She was elected to the multi-party government in 2006 and is the longest-serving minister.

Meanwhile, the race for the replacement of Foreign Minister Burkhalter is entering a new phase. His centre-right Radical Party will have to decide on a list of candidates in August, notably on one or several candidates from Italian-speaking Ticino.

Parliament is due to elect a new cabinet member on September 20, while the portfolios are allocated independently among the seven ministers.

swissinfo.ch/urs


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