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'Burned out' Neuchâtel cabinet minister quits

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Yvan Perrin: quitting "with immediate effect". Photo: Swiss parliament
11:56 CEST+02:00
Neuchâtel cabinet minister Yvan Perrin, former national vice-chairman of the right-wing Swiss People's Party (UDC) and longtime MP, has resigned after being hospitalized several times following reported “burnout” problems.

Perrin, 47, went back to hospital last Thursday for treatment after returning to his post on April 14th, following an earlier period of convalescence.

“It is incumbent on me to leave,” Perrin said in a letter submitted to the cantonal government, adding that it was a decision “with immediate effect” that he made with regret.

The cabinet minister said he could no longer pursue his cabinet duties with the required rigour.

The former police inspector, who worked in the drugs squad for the cantonal force, was elected as a federal MP in 2003 and was subsequently re-elected in 2007 and 2011.

Despite well-publicized problems linked to alcoholism, Perrin was elected to Neuchâtel’s cantonal cabinet last year.

He admitted to suffering from “burn-out” in 2010 and was admitted to hospital in a drunken state during last year’s election campaign.

After nine months in government, Perrin entered hospital in March for five weeks of treatment.

He declared in April that if there was a recurrence of the the same problem he would quit.

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“Yvan Perrin is a man of his word,” Walter Willener, chairman of the UDC parliamentary group in Neuchâtel, told a press conference.

Hughes Chantraine, UDC president for the canton of Neuchâtel, paid tribute to Perrin’s service as a politician and said he hoped Perrin could receive the treatment necessary to put him “back on his feet”.

An election for a new cabinet minister to replace Perrin, one of five ministers in the Neuchâtel government, is expected in September.

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