Ylfete Fanaj

Ms Ylfete Fanaj

Four days ago, a Swiss Albanian, Ms Ylfete Fanaj, was elected as the President of Lucerne Cantonal Council and she represents the urban and cosmopolitan side of the canton of Lucerne.

Ylfete Fanaj was elected President of the Cantonal Council on Tuesday with 91 out of 117 votes. The SP politician succeeds Josef Wyss (CVP), and she is the first Swiss national with an immigrant background to take over the highest office position in Lucerne.
“It is an honour for me to take on this responsible role,” said Ylfete Fanaj about her choice. “I am pleased to represent the urban and cosmopolitan sides of our canton”.

Ms Fanaj is another success story which tells us how successfully Albanians have integrated into Swiss society, joining Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Taulant Xhaka, Patrick Nuo, Gjon’s Tears etc success stories.

About Ylfete Fanaj

Ylfete Fanaj was born in 1982 in the southern Kosovar city ​​of Prizren. Her father worked as a seasonal worker in Switzerland in the 1980s. In 1990, her mother and two younger siblings joined her father in Switzerland while Ylfete and her older sister stayed with her grandmother in Kosovo. When the political situation in Kosovo worsened in 1991, Ylfete and her older sister followed the family to Switzerland and started school in Sursee.

Ylfete Fanaj began her political career in 2007 when she joined the board of Swiss Secondos Association, an association that deals with second-generation immigrants’ issues. In the same year, she was also elected as a candidate for the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland in the city ​​council of Lucerne. In 2008 she took a seat on the board of the Swiss Secondos Association and in 2009 became its president. She had been a member of the executive board of the SP City of Lucerne in the communications department since 2006. She switched to the executive committee of the party’s cantonal section in March 2011.

In April 2011 she was elected to the Lucerne Cantonal Council. Fanaj was thus the first Swiss cantonal councillor with Kosovo Albanian roots. In March 2015, she was chosen for a second term and reconfirmed in this office of 2019. In the cantonal council, she was initially a member of the State Policy Commission. She then became a member and later Vice President of the Justice and Security Commission. She is currently Vice President of the Supervisory and Control Commission. On 17 June 2019 Fanaj also became vice president of the cantonal parliament and the president-elect for the period 2020/2021.


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