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Widmer-Schlumpf fêted in home canton

A week after accepting her nomination to the cabinet, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has received a heroine's welcome in Graubünden, eastern Switzerland.

Widmer-Schlumpf, who will take over the justice ministry from her ousted colleague Christoph Blocher in January, was welcomed into the cabinet by Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey.

"Rarely has a cabinet election been so exciting and controversial," said Calmy-Rey in Felsberg, where the new minister lives.

Calmy-Rey said Widmer-Schlumpf, a member of the rightwing Swiss People's Party, had taken a bold decision – "a decision which I am convinced you will not regret".

Around 2,000 people, including some 800 flag-waving schoolchildren, lined the way from the train station to the parish hall, where the welcome took place.

Only a handful of members attended from the People's Party parliamentary group, which has excluded Widmer-Schlumpf and her party colleague in the cabinet, Samuel Schmid.


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