Tim Guldimann

“The international councillor” was the slogan Tim Guldimann used to promote his National Council campaign in 2015. The 68-year-old Social Democrat, who lives in Berlin, was elected to the Swiss parliament on the list of the SP in Zurich. As the first genuine foreign-resident member of parliament, this was a real coup. A total of 56 Swiss Abroad tried and failed to get elected that year. The chances of being elected are slim because most candidates are almost unknown. This was not the case for Tim Guldimann, who is an eminent Swiss diplomat.

However, Guldimann stepped down at the end of the spring session in the middle of his first term in office. Since he was living abroad, he had been unable to spend enough time in his constituency, he said. It wasn’t easy living in one place and being a politician in another because you needed personal contact to gauge the mood of the people you were representing politically. After all, “The metro in Berlin is not the same thing as the tram in Zurich”. Guldimann also pointed to family reasons: his wife is extremely busy professionally because she is the deputy head of Spiegel magazine’s Berlin office. His two school-age daughters therefore need their father to be there and relocation to Switzerland would be out of the question.

In parliament, Tim Guldimann was mainly involved in European policy. He has an outstanding network of contacts and was Switzerland’s ambassador to Germany until his retirement in 2015. He previously made a name for himself as the Swiss ambassador in Tehran and in the 1990s as a crisis diplomat in Chechnya, where he negotiated the ceasefire as head of the OSCE mission. His political career has now come to a somewhat less illustrious end than his diplomatic one.

Jürg Müller

Comments (0)

Write new comment

The editorial team reserves the right to delete discriminatory, racist, defamatory or inflammatory comments or to block the comment function for this article.
Focus
05/22/2018

Kosovo – our canton

In February, Kosovo celebrated the 10th anniversary of its independence. But what has that got to do with Switzerland? A great deal actually, as close...

Read more

The electorate fended off a serious attack on Swiss radio and television on 4 March by an overwhelming majority. The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation...

Read more

All Swiss radio stations will broadcast their programmes over the air via digital signal by 2024, sounding the death knell for FM. Supported by the...

Read more

Vladimir Petkovic is leading the Swiss national football team to the World Cup – something hardly anyone would have imagined just a few years ago. But...

Read more
 

Auslandschweizer Organisation
Alpenstrasse 26
3006 Bern, Schweiz

tel +41 31 356 61 10
fax +41 31 356 61 01
revue@aso.ch