Switzerland’s foreign affairs minister Ignazio Cassis has been selected to become the country’s next president in January.
The vote in parliament was largely a formality after Cassis had been chosen as Switzerland’s vice-president last year.
A total of 156 members out of 200 in the Swiss Federal Assembly chose Cassis to take over as President in 2022.
The role of the Swiss president — to hold representative duties and chair cabinet meetings — rotates every year among the seven members of the executive Federal Council.
Cassis will become the first president from Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region this century. He will take over from incumbent Guy Parmelin on January 1.
The 60-year-old — who has a medical degree and practised as a doctor in internal medicine — is fluent in Switzerland’s three main languages; French, German, and Italian.
His main tasks will include fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restoring soured relations with the neighbouring European Union.
In May, the Swiss government had pulled out of years-long negotiations on a comprehensive package of bilateral accords with the EU. The two sides had failed to reach an agreement on the cross-border movement of jobseekers and other key issues.
Meanwhile, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset will take on the role of vice-president as is expected to be chosen as president in 2023.