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Radical Party president to step down before general election

The president of Switzerland's Radical Party, Franz Steinegger, says he plans to step down within the next couple of years to give his successor time to prepare for the general election in 2003.

The president of Switzerland’s Radical Party, Franz Steinegger, says he plans to step down within the next couple of years to give his successor time to prepare for the general election in 2003. In an interview with the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, the 57-year-old politician said he would definitely be standing for re-election in April, but did not intend to serve for a full four-year term.

Asked about his eventual successor, Steinegger named four possible candidates, all of them politicians from the German-speaking part of Switzerland. “It is in German-speaking Switzerland that we have to fight off the attacks of the Swiss People’s Party”, he argued.

A lawyer by profession, Steinegger has presided over the Radical Party since 1989. Many analysts predicted that he would step down last October, when he accepted the additional responsibility of overseeing Switzerland’s national exhibition, Expo 02.

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