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Making waves  Greens target cabinet seat 

Regula Rytz,

Regula Rytz, Green Party president, after meeting with her party to decide on her candidature for the cabinet

(Keystone / Marcel Bieri)

Green Party President Regula Rytz has been nominated to run for a seat in the seven-member Swiss government, challenging the current party-political make-up of the cabinet. 

The Green Party parliamentary group announced on Friday they wanted to boost a sustainable policy at a government level and ensure that the global climate challenges are tackled.   

The move comes after the party’s historic gains in the parliamentary elections on October 20, in which the left-wing party won 13% of the vote for the House of Representatives – up nearly 6% on 2015 and their best result ever. The centrist Liberal Greens also increased their share of the vote to 7.9% from 4.6%. 

+ More on the October 20 election results here 

Inevitably the results had led to thoughts of a reshuffle of the multi-party government. On Thursday, Rytz on put an end to the speculation saying she was ready to enter the race, meeting widespread expectations following the success in the parliamentary elections.   

Cabinet seat target? 

She is expected to target primarily the seat of the foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis, who is from the centre-right Radical Party, although the Green party did not name names, just the party, on Friday. 

Cassis, who has been in the cabinet for two years, has already said that he wants to stayexternal link in his cabinet role. The minister has been quite outspoken, for example saying that United Nations’ aid work was hindering the Middle East peace process. This has caused criticism within Switzerland.  

+ Swiss Foreign Minister defends controversial Palestinian comments  

Even if there is some legitimacy to the Greens’ demand for a place on the cabinet, there is no urgency to it, say some parties.  

In Switzerland, there is no tradition of removing or deselecting existing cabinet members. Following the elections, parliament is now centre-left, but the government leans to the right. The election of the new government will take place on December 11.

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