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Blocher strengthens influence on party power-base

The right-wing populist Christoph Blocher (picture) has boosted his influence in the Swiss People's Party. A special congress at Altdorf, in canton Uri, appointed members of Blocher's faction to the party's key steering commitee.

The right-wing populist Christoph Blocher has boosted his influence in the Swiss People’s Party. A special congress at Altdorf, in canton Uri, appointed members of Blocher’s faction to the party’s key steering commitee.

The congress began by appointing party president, Ueli Maurer, to another four-year term. This was followed by elections for the 82-member central committee, which saw the cantons of Berne and Zurich lose seats in favour of new sections.

The newly returned central committee was given the task of appointing a new steering committee. The closed-door meeting promoted several key Blocher collaborators at the expense of the moderate wing from canton Berne.

There had been some lively debate within the party over the past few days about its future direction. In the end, however, the special congress was uncontroversial and business-like.

From staff and wire reports

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