Executive Council of Bern

Executive Council of Bern

The Executive Council (German: "Regierungsrat" / French: "Conseil-éxecutif") is the government of the Swiss canton of Bern.

This seven-member collegial body is elected by the people for a period of four years. The cantonal constitution reserves one seat in the Executive Council for a French-speaking citizen from the Bernese Jura. The presidency, by convention, rotates annually and the position is largely that of a "primus inter pares".


As of 2005, the Executive Council was composed as follows:
* President of the Government Mario Annoni, FDP: Education Department
* Executive Councillor Samuel Bhend, SPS: Health and Socal Services Department
* Executive Councillor Elisabeth Zölch-Balmer, SVP: Economic Department
* Executive Councillor Dora Andres, FDP: Police and Military Department
* Executive Councillor Werner Luginbühl, SVP: Department of Justice, Municipalities and Churches
* Executive Councillor Urs Gasche, SVP: Finance Department
* Executive Councillor Barbara Egger-Jenzer, SPS: Department of Construction, Transport and Energy
* State Chancellor Kurt Nuspliger, SPS: State Chancellory ("chief of staff with no vote in the Council")

2006 Executive Council elections

The 2006 Executive Council elections occurred on April 9. While Councillors Egger, Gasche and Luginbühl ran for re-election (which they achieved easily), Councillors Andres, Annoni, Bhend and Zölch resigned, leaving the field unusually wide open.

The SVP, long the dominant party in Bern, unexpectedly made an attempt to seize control of the Council by fielding four candidates instead of the usual three. The parties left of center criticised this move as contrary to the tradition of concordance government. Despite the majority voting procedure and its alliance with the FDP, the SVP failed to attain its goal, losing one seat to the Social Democrats instead. As the FDP also lost one seat to the Greens, the governmental majority changed to the Left.

Together with the FDP, the parties right of center (usually referred to in Bern as "bürgerlich", i.e., bourgeois) had slated six candidates:

* Urs Gasche, SVP (re-elected)
* Werner Luginbühl, SVP (re-elected)
* Hans-Jürg Käser, FDP (elected)
* Monique Jametti Greiner, SVP (not elected)
* Annelise Vaucher, SVP (for the Bernese Jura seat, not elected)
* Eva Desarzens, FDP (not elected)

The parties left of center, in turn, had agreed on a slate of four candidates:

* Barbara Egger-Jenzer, SP (re-elected)
* Philippe Perrenoud, SP (for the Bernese Jura seat, elected)
* Andreas Rickenbacher, SP (elected)
* Bernhard Pulver, GFL (elected)

The [http://www.sta.be.ch/site/index/sta-startseite/wahlenabstimmungen/wahlenabstimmungen-wahlen06/wahlenabstimmungen-wahlen06-regierungsrat.htm other candidates] , fielded by minor parties or groups (different Christian parties, nationalists, French-speaking quasi-separatists, joke parties) were never considered to have a substantial chance of winning a Council seat.

"Source:" [http://be.ch/wahlen Official 2006 elections website]

See also

* The "city" of Bern also has an executive council, the "Gemeinderat", as its government.
* The operation and customs of the Executive Council are very similar to that of the Swiss Federal Council, the national government.



External links

All links are in German and French, unless otherwise noted.
* [http://www.be.ch/rr/ Official website of the Executive Council of Bern]
* Websites for the [http://www.sta.be.ch/grw02/ 2002] and [http://www.sta.be.ch/site/wahlenabstimmungen-wahlen06 2006] Executive Council elections

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