On 21 June 2023, Alain Berset, Switzerland’s president and health minister officially resigned, reported SRF. He will finish at the end of 2023.
The Socialist Party politician from the canton of Fribourg has been a Federal Councillor (minister) since 2012. He succeeded Micheline Calmy-Rey on 1 January 2012 and took up his current role after Didier Burkhalter left.
He became Switzerland’s president twice, once in 2018 and again in 2023.
His time in charge will forever be associated with the Covid pandemic, a job that won him both praise and criticism. Speaking to SRF, Berset described this time as intense, extraordinary and difficult as both a Federal Councillor and as a private person.
Berset courted other controversy too. He was accused of being blackmailed, his head of communications was accused of passing confidential information to the press, and he was involved in lobbying against the erection of a mobile mast near his home, something revealed during the public debate around the health effects of mobile masts an the roll out of 5G. He also famously ended up flying a light aircraft through a restricted French military zone and was forced to land.
Despite all the negative headlines Berset was popular. He regularly led polls for the most popular Federal Councillor. However, recently he slipped to third place behind Viola Amherd and Karin Keller-Sutter.
SRF article (in German)