Maurer successor: SVP parliamentary group board makes no preliminary decision and recommends two tickets
The race to succeed Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer is heating up. According to the will of the faction board, the SVP should heave two candidates onto the ticket. This means there will be a showdown between Bern and Zurich on Friday.
On December 7, Parliament will decide who will succeed Simonetta Sommaruga and Ueli Maurer in the Federal Council. While the field of candidates is only just forming in the SP, the SVP is one step further. It has been clear since last Friday that all five candidates meet the party’s requirements and are suitable for the Federal Council. This was the conclusion reached by the SVP search committee.
After a meeting, the party’s parliamentary group executive also refrained from making a recommendation for certain people. “From the point of view of the parliamentary group board, the candidate and the four candidates are all eligible and have an impressive track record and the necessary management experience,” says the message from Monday.
There are four men and one woman in the race
Five people have expressed their interest: These are the former Zurich National Councilor Hans-Ueli Vogt, the two Bernese council members, National Councilor Albert Rösti and Councilor of States Werner Salzmann, as well as Michèle Blöchliger (NW) and Heinz Tännler (ZG), two government councilors from Central Switzerland .
The parliamentary group board follows the proposal of the selection committee in terms of tickets. She recommends that the parliamentary group propose a two-way ticket to Parliament to succeed Ueli Maurer. The Commission would like to leave it up to the parliamentary group to decide who makes it. This will definitely decide next Friday.
Showdown between Zurich and Bern
The crown favorite remains the Bern National Council and former SVP President Albert Rösti. According to polls, he is also the most popular candidate for the Federal Council. Most recently, however, he made headlines with his many paid mandates. The Tamedia newspapers called him the Swiss super lobbyist. A ranking by the online platform Lobbywatch also recently showed that there is hardly a politician under the dome of the Federal Palace that wears more hats than he does.
Old National Councilor Hans-Ueli Vogt is most likely to pose a threat to Rösti. Behind the law professor is the Zurich section, the leading cantonal party of the SVP. With his conciliatory manner and ability to compromise, he is valued across all parties in parliament. Maybe Vogt will manage another surprise. Hardly any political observer had reckoned with his candidacy, which was launched in mid-October.
Central Switzerland with outsider chances
In view of these two heavyweights, the other candidates are only given outsider chances. Councilor of States Werner Salzmann’s origins could become a stumbling block. Like fellow competitor Rösti, he comes from Bern. Two Bernese on the ticket to succeed Ueli Maurer are unlikely to be understood in Parliament.
Michèle Blöchliger’s chances are also slim – although she is the only woman in the field of candidates. The Nidwalden government councilor is primarily responsible for this. When she announced her candidacy, there was a great deal of confusion about her British citizenship – also because the suspicion arose that she was not telling the whole truth. After this cold start, Blöchliger’s candidacy never really got off the ground.
In addition, Blöchliger is not a member of Parliament. The Zug government councilor Heinz Tännler has the same flaw. As a rule, the Federal Assembly prefers to elect people from its own ranks than cantonal government councillors.
The Bernese Council of States Werner Salzmann (59).
The selection committee began its work three weeks ago, headed by former National Councilor Caspar Baader, when the five-strong field of candidates had been determined. She conducted hearings with all registered persons and checked the candidacies.
It was also about the political core issues of the party. The candidates answered questions about their positions on topics such as neutrality and self-determination in Switzerland, “acute asylum and migration crisis” or relief for small and medium-sized businesses and companies.
No headwind from the left
This time there is no headwind from the left: no party disputes the SVP’s claim to two seats in the Federal Council. Even the Greens, who have claimed a seat in the Federal Council since their election success in 2019, will not stand. The die for the Maurer successor has already been cast, faction leader Aline Trede justified the waiver.