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Arnold Koller
Arnold Koller Portrait.jpg
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
In office
Preceded by Kurt Furgler
Succeeded by Ruth Metzler
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 1997 – 31 December 1997
Preceded by Jean-Pascal Delamuraz
Succeeded by Flavio Cotti
In office
1 January 1990 – 31 December 1990
Preceded by Jean-Pascal Delamuraz
Succeeded by Flavio Cotti
Personal details
Arnold Koller

(1933-08-29) 29 August 1933 (age 90)
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Political party Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
Erica Brander
(m. 1972)
Children 2
Alma mater University of St. Gallen (Licentiate)
University of Fribourg (Licentiate)
University of Fribourg (PhD)

Arnold Koller (/kɒllər/; koll-ər born 29 August 1933) is a Swiss professor and politician. He served as a member of the Federal Council (Switzerland) from 1987 to 1999 for the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP). Koller previously served as a member of the National Council (Switzerland) from 1971 to 1986. He did also serve two terms of the as President of the Swiss Confederation in 1990 and 1997. He is primarily known for Lex Koller, a Swiss Federal Act on Acquisitions of Real Estate by Persons Abroad, which he initiated.

Early life and education

Koller was born 29 August 1933 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the oldest of five children, to Alois Arnold Koller and Genoveva (née Brülisauer). His father was an organist and elementary school teacher while his mother was a homemaker. He attended schools in Appenzell. Until 1957, Koller studied Economics in St. Gallen and then until 1959 Jurisprudence at the University of Fribourg and the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Licentiate degree in both majors. He received his PhD from the University of Fribourg 1966 respectively 1971.


In 1960, Koller was admitted to the Bar of Appenzell Innerrhoden. He initially worked as a counsel in the legal department of PTT and from 1964 to 1966 in the Secretary of the Swiss Cartel Commission. Since completing his doctorate, he has worked as university professor and lecturer for Economics and Jurisprudence.


He was elected to the Federal Council of Switzerland on 10 December 1986 as a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland from the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden. He handed over office on 30 April 1999.

Arnold Koller was Chairman of the Board of the Second International Conference on Federalism held in St. Gallen in 2002, and of the Forum of Federations from 2006 to 2010. This is an international organisation designed to help develop best practices in countries around the world with federal and devolved systems of government. With Raoul Blindenbacher he is the editor of the book "Federalism in a Changing World" published at McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal 2003.

During his time in office he held the following departments:

  • Federal Military Department (1987–1988)
  • Federal Department of Justice and Police (1989)
  • Federal Military Department (1989)
  • Federal Department of Justice and Police (1990–1999)

He was President of the Confederation twice in 1990 and 1997.

Personal life

In 1972, he married Erica Brander, then a flight attendant for Swissair. They have two daughters.

Koller became an honorary citizen of Gossau in 2011.


  • Blindenbacher, R. and Koller, A. (eds): Federalism in a Changing World – Learning from Each Other. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2003

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Arnold Koller para niños

  • Lex Koller
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