Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf

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Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf 2011.jpg
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2012 – 31 December 2012
Vice President Ueli Maurer
Preceded by Micheline Calmy-Rey
Succeeded by Ueli Maurer
Vice President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011
President Micheline Calmy-Rey
Preceded by Micheline Calmy-Rey
Succeeded by Ueli Maurer
Head of the Department of Finance
In office
1 November 2010 – 31 December 2015
Preceded by Hans-Rudolf Merz
Succeeded by Ueli Maurer
Head of the Department of Justice and Police
In office
1 January 2008 – 31 October 2010
Preceded by Christoph Blocher
Succeeded by Simonetta Sommaruga
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
In office
1 January 2008 – 31 December 2015
Preceded by Christoph Blocher
Succeeded by Guy Parmelin
Personal details
Born (1956-03-16) 16 March 1956 (age 60)
Felsberg, Switzerland
Political party Swiss People's Party
(Before 2008)
Conservative Democratic
Party
(2008–present)
Children 3
Alma mater University of Zurich

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf (born 16 March 1956) is a Swiss lawyer, politician, and former member of the Swiss Federal Council from 2008 to 2015. She was the head of the Federal Department of Finance (the Swiss finance minister). She served as President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2012.

Personal life[edit]

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. Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is also patron of the project SAFFA 2020, as well as the federal councillors (Bundesrat) Doris Leuthard, Simonetta Sommaruga and the former councillor (aBR) Micheline Calmy-Rey.[1]

Career in Grisons[edit]

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[edit]

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 replaced outgoing Hans-Rudolf Merz as the head of the Federal Department of Finance which she presided over since then.[2]

Expulsion from the party[edit]

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.[3]

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 refused 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 Micheline Calmy-Rey. On 14 December 2011 she was elected President of the Confederation for 2012—the fourth woman to hold the post (after Ruth Dreifuss in 1999, Calmy-Rey in 2007 and 2011 and Doris Leuthard in 2010), and the third woman in a row. Due to a large amount of turnover on the Federal Council, she was the longest-serving member to have not yet served as President.

Swiss Federal Council[edit]

After the Swiss People's Party (SVP) won a record vote of over 29% in the 2015 general elections, Widmer-Schlumpf announced she would not run for re-election to the Federal Council on 28 October 2015.[4][5][6] She was succeeded by Guy Parmelin.

Works[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Patronat" (in German). 2020.ch. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  2. ^ "Leuthard au DETEC, Widmer-Schlumpf aux finances". TSR Télévision Suisse Romande. SRG SSR. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  3. ^ BBC News. Far-right leaves Swiss government, 13 December 2007.
  4. ^ Jaberg, Samuel; Stephens, Thomas (October 28, 2015). "Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf to Stand Down". Swissinfo. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ Geiser, Urs (October 19, 2015). "Parliament Shifts to the Right". Swissinfo. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf tritt zurück; Die kompetente Finanzministerin; Widmer-Schlumpf und die Journalisten" (in German). 10vor10. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Christoph Blocher
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
2008–2015
Succeeded by
Guy Parmelin
Head of the Department of Justice and Police
2008–2010
Succeeded by
Simonetta Sommaruga
Preceded by
Hans-Rudolf Merz
Head of the Department of Finance
2010–2015
Succeeded by
Ueli Maurer
Preceded by
Micheline Calmy-Rey
Vice President of Switzerland
2011
President of Switzerland
2012