Council of Europe elects Alain Berset as secretary general

Former Swiss president Alain Berset was elected on Tuesday as the new secretary general of the Council of Europe, a Strasbourg-based human rights organisation that brings together 46 nations. 

In the second round of voting, Berset was elected with 114 votes. His Estonian challenger Indrek Saar received 85 votes, and Belgium's Didier Reynders came third with 46 votes.

Berset also came out on top in the first round of voting earlier in the day. Since none of the three candidates received an outright majority, a decisive second round of voting was held in which a simple majority was sufficient.

Reynders, who was also a candidate to head the Council of Europe in 2019, will now return to his post as European Commissioner for Justice, from which he took unpaid leave in mid-April to campaign.


Alain Berset awaiting the results of the vote in Strasbourg on 25 June 2024 © PHOTO SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

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