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Zurich elects first female mayor

The new mayor of Zurich will for the first time be a woman and openly gay person.

This content was published on March 29, 2009 - 15:47

Voters in Switzerland's largest city elected Corine Mauch of the centre-left Social Democrats to replace Elmer Ledergerber of the same party.

The 49-year-old Mauch, who was only elected to the city council last month, received nearly 42,000 votes, nearly 11,000 more than her only rival, the 57-year-old Kathrin Martelli of the centre-right Radicals.

Mauch will take over the post at the end of April when Ledergerber officially steps down to devote more time to his family and new post as president of the Zurich tourist office.

The office of mayor in Zurich is a largely ceremonial position wielding less power than in London, Berlin, New York or Paris. Besides presiding over the city's cultural department, the mayor acts as its principal ambassador.

In a relatively uneventful election campaign, both candidates said they would like to improve the quality of social housing in the city and to have more childcare places made available. But the campaign was dominated by themes of gender and sexuality.

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