The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Jon Pult, Political Novice, Aims for Swiss Federal Council

Jon Pult, the three-language Swiss National Councillor from the canton of Grisons, is the youngest of the four applicants for the succession of Alain Berset to the Swiss Federal Council. Despite his young age, he has already accumulated twenty years of active political experience. As Federal Councilor, the 38-year-old Pult declared his candidacy on Monday in Bern, stating his intention to strengthen the cohesion of Switzerland. He emphasized that for the country to function in its diversity, it needs to maintain its cohesion. Pult spoke in all four national languages with the media. He said he was aiming for cohesion between the language regions, but also between city and country and between different realities of life. He said his time as a student and later as a communications consultant in Zurich had shaped him as much as the Alpine cultural space. Today he lives with his wife "between Chur and Bern". As a native of the Swiss canton of Grisons, Pult identifies as a trilingual speaker. He grew up speaking Italian with his mother and Romansh with his father, but in school he primarily spoke German. Today, German is his main working language, but he still dreams in all three languages. At 19 years old, around 20 years ago, Andri Pult stepped into politics. According to Andri Perl, President of SP Graubünden, Pult has learned from the ground up how the political system of Switzerland works. "He has gone through the classic 'oxen tour'," Perl said. Furthermore, Pult is able to communicate effectively in all of the official languages of Switzerland. He is passionate about his causes: people, a just society, and a good coexistence. National Councilor Sandra Locher Benguerel (SP/GR) praised Pult as a "Swiss global citizen" with conviction and brilliant strategy. She described him as a person with the power to persuade and a great strategist. The biggest challenges in the eyes of Pult are the reform of the healthcare system, climate policy, and European policy. Pult wants to "focus more on health and less on business" when it comes to the healthcare system. To achieve this, it is necessary to tackle costs and ensure a fairer financing system. In order to reach the climate goals, Pult calls for a "policy of extended hand" instead of a "policy of raised finger". Investments and perspectives, not demands and blame, are necessary for the energy transition. People need support for the ecological transformation. In response to a journalist's question, Pult clearly expressed his support for wage protection in the event of a stronger integration of Switzerland into the European internal market. According to Pult, this should be accompanied by internal political reforms in order to compensate for any disadvantages that may arise. It is clear to me that the majority of Swiss people do not want to join the European Union. I would accept this decision. At the same time, I am convinced that a majority of people want to have stable relationships with the EU. In 2022, Pult was one of the authors of a European paper by the Swiss Socialist Party, in which joining the EU was defined as a long-term goal. If he were to become a member of the government, his role would be completely different. With no executive office yet, the educated historian Pult has long-standing political experience. His journey began with the Young Socialists: he was already elected to the Chur City Parliament in 2004 and to the Graubünden Grand Council in 2010. From 2009 to 2016, he presided over the SP Graubünden. Currently, he is part of the vice-presidency of the SP Switzerland. The 38-year-old has been a member of the National Council since 2019 and presides over the Commission for Transport and Telecommunications. This is responsible for transport and media policy, among other things. Pult gained national fame as president of the Alpen-Initiative association, which advocates for the transport of goods by rail. The Swiss Social Democratic Party (SP) has announced three candidates for the upcoming Federal Council election. Basel's Government President and former National Councillor Beat Jans, Bern's National Councillor Matthias Aebischer and Zurich's Council of States Member Daniel Jositsch have all declared their candidacy to succeed current Federal Councillor Alain Berset. On November 25th, the SP parliamentary group will nominate its ticket for the Federal Council election.

©Keystone/SDA

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