Ignazio Cassis, Isabelle Moret and Pierre Maudet are the Radical Party’s official candidates to succeed Didier Burkhalter in the Swiss cabinet. Parliament will choose a winner on September 20, although it could cause an upset by opting for someone not on the ticket.
On Friday the parliamentary group of the centre-right Radical Party failed to single out one of the three politicians who had put their names forward, prolonging media speculation for another three weeks.
Cassis, 56, would be the first cabinet minister from Italian-speaking Switzerland this century; the most recent Ticinese to sit in the seven-person federal council was Flavio Cotti in 1999. Cassis, the favourite in the run-up to Friday’s decision, holds dual Swiss and Italian citizenship but announced last monthexternal link he planned to give up the Italian nationality he inherited from his father (although he’s under no legal obligation to do so).
Maudet, 39, from Geneva, is also a dual national, but he has said he will raise the issue among the cabinet if he were elected and give up his French passport temporarily if necessary.
Moret, 46, from canton Vaud, would be the eighth female minister and the first whose children are of compulsory school-going age.
The Swiss cabinet currently comprises two women and two people from the French-speaking part of the country (one of whom is Burkhalter).
Whoever is elected on September 20 would join his or her six colleagues in cabinet at the end of October. They would then decide on the portfolios. Burkhalter, who handed in his notice in June for personal reasons, was foreign minister, but it is unlikely the new recruit would be handed what is considered a choice dossier.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts