Former Justice Minister Christoph Blocher is seeking a seat in parliament four years after he was ousted from the cabinet.
Blocher, arguably Switzerland’s most controversial politician of recent years, on Thursday announced he was standing for his rightwing People’s Party for a seat in October’s elections to both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Blocher said he considered his re-entry into the parliamentary arena – a rare occurrence in Swiss politics for a former cabinet member – as a crusade against efforts by other parties to seek Swiss membership of the European Union.
The People’s Party is hoping for major gains in the 46-strong Senate, where it is currently only the fourth-largest group. It holds nearly a third of all seats in the other parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives.
Several other high-ranking People’s Party representatives have also announced they will enter the race for Senate seats in their cantons.