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Widmer-Schlumpf defends cabinet role

New cabinet minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has revealed that she decided to take the job to avoid her rightwing Swiss People's Party losing a seat in government.

Widmer-Schlumpf caused a political storm last Wednesday when she was unexpectedly elected to the government in place of controversial justice minister and party colleague Christoph Blocher.

The Graubünden politician was voted into the job by parliament. By accepting, Widmer-Schlumpf went against her party's wishes.

The People's Party has now announced that it is going into opposition and that Widmer-Schlumpf is barred from the parliamentary grouping.

In the Sunday media, Widmer-Schlumpf said that she originally had not wanted to oppose her party, but was swayed by the idea that it would lose its second cabinet seat to another party.

She also said that going into opposition was "not sensible" if the People's Party wanted to have a political influence.


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