Asked in Switzerland

Who is in charge of Switzerland?


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Switzerland has a president as head of state. There is a different president each year, starting on 1st January. The president for 2012 is Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

Previous presidents were: 2011 - Micheline Calmy-Rey, 2010 - Doris Leuthard, 2009 - Hans-Rudolf Merz, 2008 - Pascal Couchepin.

The official title is "President of the Confederation" (German: Bundespräsident(in), French: Président(e) de la Confédération, Italian: Presidente della Confederazione, Romansh: President(a) da la Confederaziun). The president is the presiding member of the seven-member Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland's executive. Elected by the Federal Assembly for one year, the President of the Confederation chairs the meetings of the Federal Council and undertakes special representational duties. Primus inter pares, the President has no powers above the other Councillors and continues to head his or her department. Traditionally the duty rotates among the members in order of seniority and the previous year's Vice President becomes President.