Race for cabinet post gathers pace

Martine Brunschwig Graf and Christian Lüscher have become the latest Radical Party candidates for an open post in the multi-party cabinet.

This content was published on July 24, 2009 minutes

The Geneva chapter of their Liberal Party, a junior partner of the Radicals, voted for a double ticket with both centre-right parliamentarians on Thursday.

The parliamentary group of the Radicals is due to draw up a shortlist at the end of August ahead of the cabinet election on September 16.

So far three politicians have officially been named by their cantonal chapters, including Senator Didier Burkhalter of Neuchâtel, to compete in the race to succeed Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, a Radical who will step down on October 31.

More Radical Party candidates from French-speaking regions are expected to be named in the next few weeks.

It is widely believed the party president, Fulvio Pelli from the Italian-speaking canton Ticino, might also be placed on the shortlist.

Observers say other parties, notably the centre-right Christian Democrats, could challenge the Radicals.

The seven-strong cabinet is made up of two members from the Radicals and two from the centre-left Social Democrats, as well as one from the rightwing Swiss People's Party, one from the Christian Democrats and one from the centre-right Conservative Democrats.

Urs Geiser, and agencies

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