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Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr To Resign-Tages-Anzeiger


Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger reporting that Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, in office since 2016, is set to resign at 1330CET. The Swiss chancellor is not the head of gov't as is the case in neighbouring Germany or Austria, but instead is effectively a 'chief of staff' to the seven-member Federal Council, the joint head of gov't and state of Switzerland. Nevertheless, Thurnherr's resignation has been reported as something of a shock given his reputation for effective management of gov't business.

  • The long-standing diplomat and bureaucrat is only 60 years old, and has been referred to as the unofficial 'eighth Federal Councillor' due to his presence at all Federal Council meetings (albeit without voting power), with Tages-Anzeiger reporting that "Thurnherr has been considered one of the most influential and powerful people in the Federal Palace for decades." Neue Zürcher Zeitung: "Criticism of him is rare: it is said that he is lightning fast, efficient, loyal and a well-connected "string puller"."
  • The vote within the Federal Assembly (the joint houses of the Swiss parliament) to replace Thurnherr will take place on 13 December, the same date as the election to replace outgoing Swiss President and Social Democratic Party Federal Councillor Alain Berset. Thurnherr hails from the Christian democratic 'The Centre' party, which has one member on the Federal Council.

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