No surprises for cabinet nominees

Simonetta Sommaruga (right) Keystone

The Social Democrats and Radical Party have announced their official candidates to succeed outgoing government ministers, Moritz Leuenberger and Hans-Rudolf Merz.

This content was published on September 3, 2010 minutes

There were no surprises from either the centre-left Social Democrats or centre-right Radicals with their choices.

The former presented its two-person ticket on Friday: senator Simonetta Sommaruga and parliamentarian from the House of Representatives, Jacqueline Fehr.

The Radicals put forward Karin Keller-Sutter and Johann Schneider-Ammann. Keller-Sutter is a government minister in canton St Gallen, while Schneider-Ammann is a member of the House.

A joint session of both parliamentary chambers will convene on September 22 to choose the successors to Social Democrat Leuenberger, who holds the transport, communications, energy and environment portfolios, and Finance Minister Merz from the Radicals.

History has shown that parliamentarians normally vote for one - or in this case two - of the official candidates. However, the new millennia has seen some surprises. Current Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf was not put forward by her Swiss People’s Party when she was elected a couple of years ago. Consequently she was pressured to leave the party, but remained in the cabinet.

Analysts are not expecting any surprises this time around, even though some other parties have also nominated candidates, including the People’s Party and Greens.

Sommaruga is a leading consumer rights figure and Fehr is known for her efforts to improve family, health and education policies.

For the Radicals, Keller-Sutter has gained a reputation for her tough stance on asylum issues and crime while Schneider-Ammann represents business and industry. and agencies

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