Elections produce a majority of Women in the Swiss cabinet

Elections produce a majority of Women in the Swiss cabinet

On 22nd September, Simonetta Sommaruga and Johann Schneider-Ammann were elected to the cabinet, giving modern-day Switzerland its first majority of women ministers.

The Swiss government consists of a cabinet made up of seven members. There is no prime minister. The position of president rotates among cabinet ministers every year.

The cabinet should reflect the political, cultural and linguistic diversity of the country. For 50 years cabinet posts were shared out among the four main parties – the Radicals, the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Swiss People’s Party – under an informal agreement. The system known as the Magic Formula is not applied anymore since 2003.

A fundamental tenet of the multiparty cabinet is the need to reach consensus and that decisions are taken collectively.

From 3rd November the composition of the Federal Council will be the following:

1)     Ministry of Environment, Transport and Energy: Doris Leuthard (Current President of the Swiss Confederation)

2)     Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Micheline Calmy-Rey

3)     Ministry of Interior : Didier Burkhalter

4)     Ministry of Justice: Simonetta Somaruga

5)     Ministry of Defense: Ueli Maurer

6)     Ministry of Finance: Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf

7)     Ministry of Economy: Johann Schneider-Amman

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