- The National Council has a new president in the Bernese SVP politician Andreas Aebi.
- The 62-year-old farmer, cattle breeder and auctioneer from Bern has been a member of the Grand Chamber since 2007.
- Aebi follows Isabelle Moret (FDP / VD). Irène Kälin (Greens / AG) becomes first Vice-President, Martin Candinas (CVP / GR) second Vice-President.
Andreas Aebi was elected with 178 out of 183 valid votes. Compared to the long-term average, this is an above-average result. Aebi’s predecessor, Isabelle Moret, was elected a year ago with a record result, with 193 out of 198 valid votes. In the long-term average, new National Council presidents were elected with around 150 votes each.
“Cohesion, confidence and satisfaction”
The new President of the National Council wants to put his year in office under the motto “Cohesion, confidence and satisfaction”. He very much hopes that in the next few days Parliament will find fair, effective and quick solutions for companies that have got into the crisis through no fault of their own, Aebi said in his speech. Cohesion also means taking the needs of the regions into account, he said in Italian and addressing Ticino.
It is the time of renunciation and solidarity and not the time of pleasure and diversion, warned Aebi. He remembered those who lost loved ones in the pandemic and those who fear for their jobs. “We very much hope that you will experience confidence and rays of hope.” With all the challenges that have to be mastered, the joy should not be lost. Common laughter and common grief should have their place.
What does a Council President do?
The President of the Council leads the Council’s negotiations, sets the agenda as part of the office’s session planning, heads the Council’s office and represents the Council externally. As a rule, presidents of the council do not comment on the matter and only vote if the consent of the majority of the members of each council is required. In the event of a tie, he or she has the casting vote.
He wanted to exercise his mandate efficiently and impartially, with a view of the big picture, assured Aebi and praised his predecessor Isabelle Moret (FDP / VD) as an “excellent teacher”. The coronavirus pandemic taught us to react to the situation in the parliamentary leadership, to reschedule and to break new ground.
With sustained and warm applause, the National Council said goodbye to the resigning highest Swiss woman, Isabelle Moret. President of the Council of States Hans Stöckli (SP / BE) and they themselves left their successors with a parliament that was prepared for such crises, said Moret about her year in office, which was marked by the pandemic.
Irène Kälin (Greens) from Aargau is the new first Vice-President of the National Council. It was elected with 137 of 168 valid votes. The 33-year-old has been a member of the National Council since 2017 and is expected to take over the Presidency from Aebi in one year, for the year 2022.
After the Greens, the middle parliamentary group will take over the chairmanship of the large chamber in 2023. The National Council elected 40-year-old Martin Candinas (CVP) from Graubünden as the new second vice-president on Monday, with 154 of 170 valid votes.
Aebi: agricultural and foreign politicians
Andreas Aebi began his political career at the municipal level. From 1998 to 2008 he was Alchenstorfer mayor. Without ever having been a member of the cantonal parliament, he made the leap to the National Council in 2007. He has been re-elected three times since then – always with top cantonal results.
The major in the army describes himself as an agricultural and foreign politician. Aebi has been a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission for years, which he chaired in 2012 and 2013.