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Far-right Blocher seeks return to Swiss ruling body

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Far-right Blocher seeks return to Swiss ruling body

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Swiss politics looks set for a round of in-fighting as Christoph Blocher of the far-right Peoples Party, the SVP, seeks re-election to a seat on the governing Federal Council. It comes one year after the outspoken politician was kicked off the ruling body.

Blocher upset many across the political spectrum with his stance on immigration, which generated critical coverage across the globe. He is up against former hardline chaiman of the party, Ueli Maurer.

Blocher was removed last time in a “palace coup” by left-wing and centre-right politicians who elected Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, a more moderate SVP member to the council. In a bid to keep party members in line, the SVP say any other party member elected ahead of the duo will be removed from the party.

The seven-member Federal Council is set up to guarantee stability with right and left-wing ministers from the four main parties running the country side by side, without a prime minister. The election follows the resignation of Defence Minister Samuel Schmid due to ill health.