Swiss President Alain Berset is to step down at the end of the year and leave the country’s multi-party cabinet after 11 years, he said on Wednesday.
Berset, 51, is a member of the left-leaning Social Democrats and has served as health and interior minister, overseeing the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Swiss presidency is a revolving post held for one year by each person in the seven-member Swiss cabinet and holds no more power than the other members.
“It is not a resignation, but it is an announcement that I will not run again after the current legislative session,” Berset said at a press conference in Bern on Wednesday, referring to the Swiss general elections due to be held in October.
“If you stayed longer than 12 years that would be too long, then you would consider yourself irreplaceable,” said Berset, who is currently the longest-serving member of the cabinet. “The institutions are more important than the people.”
He told reporters he had no concrete plans after he leaves the cabinet other than yoga.