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Schweiger steps down for health reasons

The Radical Party is looking for a new president after the surprise resignation of Rolf Schweiger Keystone

The president of Switzerland’s centre-right Radical Party has stepped down after just seven months in the job.

This content was published on November 5, 2004 - 15:58

Rolf Schweiger cited health reasons for his surprise resignation at the helm of one of Switzerland’s main political parties.

“Over the past weeks I have been suffering from the increasing fatigue which makes it impossible for me to continue in my post of the Radical Party,” the 59-year old senator and corporate lawyer said in a statement.

Schweiger is widely expected to keep his seat as senator for canton Zug which he has held since 1998.

More than ten years ago he had suffered from the same illness.

Schweiger, who took up the post only in April, planned to put his party back on track after the dismal showing in last year’s parliamentary elections.

However, observers say tensions between the different party factions were a heavy burden for him.

Reform

Under his short leadership, the Radicals approved several proposals to position their party as a modern political force promoting economic growth.

He also managed to win the support of prominent business leaders who pledged to contribute SFr3 million ($2.5 million) annually to party coffers.

Schweiger is considered a hardliner on public spending, but is seen as more liberal on social issues.

In an interview with swissinfo in May, he called for reforms to Switzerland’s welfare system to reduce the deficit.

He also urged more competition and increased efforts to cut red tape to boost the economic recovery.

One of the party’s vice-presidents, Marianne Kleiner, a member of the House of Representatives, will take over as president ad interim.

Party leaders are expected to meet next week to discuss possible successors to Schweiger.

swissinfo

In brief

Rolf Schweiger has stepped down as president of the centre-right Radical Party after just seven months in office.

He cited health reasons for his resignation.

Vice president, Marianne Kleiner, will take the helm ad interim.

The Radicals are the third biggest political group in parliament.

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