Ueli Maurer (* 1. Dezember 1950 in Wetzikon, heimatberechtigt in Adelboden und Hinwil; bürgerlich Ulrich Maurer) ist ein Schweizer Politiker (SVP). Er hatte im Jahr 2013 das Amt des Bundespräsidenten der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft inne. Seit dem 1. Januar 2009 ist er als Mitglied des Bundesrates Vorsteher des Eidgenössischen Departements für Verteidigung, Bevölkerungsschutz und Sport (VBS).
Von 1978 bis 1986 war Maurer Gemeinderat von Hinwil. Von 1983 bis 1991 war er im Kantonsrat von Zürich, in seinem letzten Amtsjahr als Ratspräsident.
Maurer wurde 1991 in den Nationalrat gewählt. Im selben Jahr verlor er die Wahl in die Zürcher Kantonsregierung gegen Moritz Leuenberger. In seiner Amtszeit als Präsident der SVP Schweiz von 1996 bis 2008 wurden zwölf neue Kantonalparteien sowie 600 lokale Sektionen gegründet, dabei etablierte sich die SVP als wählerstärkste Partei der Schweiz.
Am 21. Oktober 2007 kandidierte Maurer für einen von zwei Sitzen des Kantons Zürich im Ständerat, scheiterte jedoch im ersten Wahlgang. Im zweiten Wahlgang vom 25.
November 2007 verlor er gegen die Grünliberale Verena Diener. Am 26. Oktober 2007 gab Maurer seinen Rücktritt als Parteipräsident der SVP per März 2008 bekannt. Toni Brunner wurde am 1. März 2008 zu seinem Nachfolger gewählt. Mitte August 2008 wurde Maurer zum Präsidenten der Zürcher SVP gewählt.
Nach dem Rücktritt von Bundesrat Samuel Schmid nominierte die SVP-Fraktion am 27. November 2008 neben Christoph Blocher auch Ueli Maurer für die Bundesratswahl 2008. Am 10. Dezember 2008 wurde Maurer im dritten Wahlgang mit nur einer Stimme Vorsprung auf Sprengkandidat Hansjörg Walter in den Bundesrat gewählt. Seit 2009 ist Maurer Vorsteher des Eidgenössischen Departementes für Verteidigung, Bevölkerungsschutz und Sport (VBS). Am 5. Dezember 2012 wurde Maurer mit 148 von 237 möglichen und 202 gültigen Stimmen zum Bundespräsidenten für das Jahr 2013 gewählt.
Ulrich "Ueli" Maurer (born 1 December 1950 in Wetzikon) is a member of the Swiss Federal Council and head of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (the Swiss defence minister). As a leading figure in the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party, he was elected by the Swiss Federal Assembly to succeed Federal Councillor Samuel Schmid in the Swiss Federal Council election of 10 December 2008 and took office on 1 January 2009. He served as President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2013.
From 1978 to 1986, Maurer was a member of the municipal government of Hinwil. He was elected to the cantonal parliament of Zürich in 1983, which he presided over in 1991.
In that year, he lost an election to the cantonal government against Moritz Leuenberger, as his opponents derided Maurer's campaign as inept and himself as a naïve devotee of party strongman Christoph Blocher. In the same year's national election, though, Maurer was elected to the National Council.
- National career and party presidency
In 1996, at Blocher's behest, Maurer was elected president of the Swiss People's Party. Not taken seriously at first and parodied by TV comedian Viktor Giacobbo as Blocher's servile sycophant so memorably that his taunted children regularly returned from school in tears, his presidency saw the party double its voter base, establish itself in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and become the country's strongest political party. These successes have been largely credited to Maurer's leadership, who was able to make up a lack of charisma with astonishingly hard work, the imposition of strict party discipline, a keen sense for promising populist issues (such as opposition to European integration, foreigners and political correctness) as well as a penchant for headline-grabbing soundbites, as attested by an often-cited statement of his: "As long as I talk of negroes, the camera stays on me".
As president of the People's Party, Maurer was a leading force behind the party's aggressive and successful populist campaigns – campaigns that drew the ire of the Swiss political mainstream and the concern of foreign observers – signing off on cartoonish posters attacking leftists, foreigners and other undesirables. In a breach with Swiss political etiquette, he did not shy away from direct personal attacks on fellow politicians, labeling the center-right Free Democrats as "softies", Social Democratic voters as deranged, and renegade Federal Councillors Schmid and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as "appendices" requiring excision. Nonetheless, Maurer was able to keep his public persona separate from the way his colleagues in Parliament perceived him. In the National Council, his personal stature grew during his service and even political opponents credited his personal integrity, collegial demeanour and solid grasp of political issues. His good professional relations with Social Democratic women representatives were particularly noted by puzzled political observers.
Even as his and his party's star rose, however, relations between Maurer and his longtime mentor Blocher slowly cooled, even though the two men remained strong allies in public. Blocher, used to exercising authoritarian leadership as the party's undisputed leading figure, did not approve of Maurer questioning some of his strategic approaches, and increasingly exercised power through a close-knit circle of followers instead of through Maurer and the party secretariat. In October 2007, after the People's Party won its greatest electoral victory in history, Maurer resigned as party president and was succeeded against his wishes by Toni Brunner, one of Blocher's close confidants, on 1 March 2008. After losing a run-off election for a Council of States seat against Verena Diener, Maurer contented himself with the presidency of the Zürich section of the People's Party.
- Federal Council candidacy
On 27 November 2008, the party's parliamentary group unanimously nominated both Maurer and Blocher as candidates to succeed Schmid as Federal Councillor. With Blocher – who was ousted from the Council in 2007 – considered unelectable by all other parties, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and other Swiss media called Maurer the clear frontrunner for the Council seat even before his nomination. On 10 December 2008 Maurer was elected to the Federal Council in the third round of voting with 122 votes, a margin of a single vote. Maurer was elected Vice President of the Confederation for 2012, alongside President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. On 5 December 2012 he was elected President of the Confederation for 2013.
7. Januar 2013