Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is a Swiss lawyer, politician, and member of the Swiss Federal Council since 2008.

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Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf (born 16 March 1956) is a Swiss lawyer, politician, and member of the Swiss Federal Council since 2008. She is the head of the Federal Department of Finance (the Swiss finance minister). She serves as President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2012.

Widmer-Schlumpf is married and has three children. She is the daughter of former federal councillor Leon Schlumpf. She is the second federal councillor whose father had held the same office, after Eugène Ruffy, and the sixth woman to be elected to the Swiss Federal Council.

Career in Grisons

Widmer-Schlumpf received her degree in law at the University of Zürich in 1981 and her LLD in 1990. She worked as a lawyer from 1987 to 1998. She was elected to the district court of Trin in 1985, presiding from 1991 to 1997. As a member of the Swiss People's Party, she was the cantonal legislative of Grisons 1994 to 1998, and in 1998 was elected to the cantonal government as the first woman, acting as president in 2001 and 2005.

Election to the Federal Council

Widmer-Schlumpf was named as an alternative candidate to Christoph Blocher by the Christian Democrat, Social Democrat and Green fractions in the Swiss Federal Council elections of 12 December 2007. In the first round, she received 116 votes, compared to 111 votes for Blocher. In the second round, she was elected federal councillor with 125 votes, 115 votes going to Blocher and 6 spurious, empty or invalid. She accepted her election on 13 December 2007. She assumed Blocher's old portfolio as head of the Department of Justice and Police.

Following a reshuffle of portfolios after the by-election of two new councilors in 2010, Widmer-Schlumpf is to replace outgoing Hans-Rudolf Merz at the head of the Federal Department of Finance [1]

Expulsion from the party

After her election, Widmer-Schlumpf was intensely opposed by the national leadership of the Swiss People's Party, who denounced her as a traitor to her party for accepting an election that she won without the support of the party. Immediately after her election, she was excluded from the party's group's meetings, as was her colleague Samuel Schmid.[2]

In another unprecedented development in Swiss politics, on 2 April 2008 the national party leadership called upon Widmer-Schlumpf to resign from the Federal Council at once and to leave the party. Widmer-Schlumpf declined to do so and on June 1, the national Swiss People's Party expelled its whole Grisons section because it had declined to expel Widmer-Schlumpf. Since Swiss political parties are legally federations of cantonal parties, the national party could not expel Widmer-Schlumpf directly. In response, the former SVP Grisons section formed the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland. The SVP's Bern section, of which Schmid is a member, also joined the new party.

Widmer-Schlumpf was elected Vice-President of the Confederation for 2011, alongside President-elect Micheline Calmy-Rey. On 14 December 2011 she was elected President of the Confederation in 2012.

Works

  • Voraussetzungen der Konzession bei Radio und Fernsehen. doctorate thesis. Helbing und Lichtenhahn, Basel 1990, ISBN 3-7190-1157-7.

References

  1. "Leuthard au DETEC, Widmer-Schlumpf aux finances". TSR Télévision Suisse Romande. SRG SSR. 27. http://www.tsr.ch/info/suisse/2515971-leuthard-au-detec-widmer-schlumpf-aux-finances.html. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  2. BBC News. Far-right leaves Swiss government, 13 December 2007.