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New Swiss government ministers elected to office

Switzerland's parliament has appointed two new ministers to replace outgoing members of the country’s seven-member government.

 Albert Rösti of the right-wing Swiss People's Party and Elisabeth Baume-Schneider of the left-wing Social Democratic Party will take office at the start of next year following the resignations of Ueli Maurer and Simonetta Sommaruga.

In September Maurer announced he would be relinquishing his role of overseeing the nation’s finances at the end of this year.

First elected as a government minister in 2009, Maurer was initially responsible for the defence ministry. Since 2016, the People’s Party politician has been in charge of the finance ministry and is the longest-serving government minister in the current seven-member executive body.

Rösti, 55, was voted into government in the first ballot round with 131 votes, comfortably passing the required majority of 122 votes.

Addressing parliament on his election, he said he would "take office full of vigour" from January 1.

Parliament needed three ballots to decide on a replacement for Sommaruga, who last month said she would step down as transport, energy and environment minister.

Baume-Schneider, 58, becomes the first person from canton Jura to hold a ministerial position. In her acceptance speech, she highlighted the need for improved dialogue with the European Union.