Voters in Appenzell Inner Rhodes have unanimously chosen 41-year-old political scientist Antonia Fässler as director of the half-canton’s health and social department
Fässler, who was chosen at the traditional open-air gathering of the electorate (Landsgemeinde) is only the second woman to become a member of the seven-member Appenzell government since women were allowed the vote at local level 20 years ago.
Fässler was the only official candidate for the position after a male candidate withdrew ahead of the vote, arguing he did not want to be a “lady killer”.
Ruth Metzler was the first woman elected to the Appenzell Inner Rhodes government in 1996. She was head of the finance department before being elected to the federal government in which she was justice and police minister from 1999 to 2003.
The government in Appenzell Inner Rhodes does not form itself; members are directly elected to their departments, with women considered having little chance of success in recent years.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
In compliance with the JTI standards