Swiss MPs vote in Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as president
Switzerland's parliament elected Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as president on Wednesday to replace outgoing leader Micheline Calmy-Rey.
The Federal Assembly voted in Widmer-Schlumpf of the centre-right Conservative Democrats to head the rotating office with 174 votes out of a possible 211, after voting in a new seven-member government cabinet in Bern.
Widmer-Schlumpf, 55, was first elected to the cabinet in 2007 as a member of Switzerland's biggest party SVP.
However, she and some other parliamentarians left the SVP to form their own Conservative Democrats.
Thanks to her popularity, the finance minister has now not only managed to keep her seat in the cabinet, but won the top post even though her party is too small to hold a ministerial portfolio under the Swiss power-sharing agreement.
The presidency is rotated every year among members of the council.
Socialist Calmy-Rey was replaced in the cabinet by fellow party member Alain Berset, the only new face in the group.
Each of the six other members of the cabinet were re-elected.
© 2011 AFP