Zurich, Switzerland, has elected its first female and first openly lesbian mayor, Corine Mauch.

A member of the centre-left Social Democrats, Mauch has been elected with a lead of 11,000 votes over her opposition following the surprise resignation of previous incumbent Elmar Ledergerber late last year.

Mauch will be delivering a speech at the opening of the Europride 09 parade, alongside European Parliament member Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Moldavian human rights activist Mihaela Copot.

A spokesman of the EuroPride said: “This is a real stroke of luck for the EuroPride in Zurich. None of us really expected that”

Despite previous criticism that both Mauch and her opposition, Kathrin Martelli, will not be able to fill their predecessors’ shoes, there is hope that Mauch’s election will bring positive change.

One political analyst from Zurich University claimed: “Being a lesbian (is) an advantage, Zurich has a large gay community and the city people generally want to show you that they are open minded.”