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Christian Wulff set to be government nomination for German president

Christian Wulff

The state premier of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff, is reportedly set to be nominated as the government’s candidate for German president. An official announcement is expected Thursday evening in Berlin.

The state premier of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff is to be nominated as the next German president, according to government sources.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to propose the 50-year-old as the successor to Horst Koehler, who resigned unexpectedly at the start of the week.

The naming of Wulff follows German media reports that the former favorite, Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen, is no longer being considered. The media reports cite sources from within Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

Wulff has governed the state of Lower Saxony since 2003 and would be Germany’s youngest-ever president.

A joint statement from the coalition partners confirming the nomination of Wulff is expected later on Thursday.

The opposition SPD and Green parties are to nominate 70-year-old Joachim Gauck as their candidate.

Von der Layen out

Ursula von der LeyenReports say von der Leyen is no longer being considered

One concern about von der Leyen taking over as president was reportedly the hole she would have left behind in the labor ministry. There had also been some criticism of von der Leyen from the CDU’s Bavarian counterpart, the Christian Social Union.

In an interview with the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung daily published on Thursday, CSU parliamentarian Norbert Geis said the idea of von der Leyen as a presidential candidate would “take some getting used to.”

Search continues

The Federal Convention is scheduled to vote on the new president at the end of the month.

The role of the German president is largely ceremonial, although the president does sign off on legislation and is seen as a moral compass on national issues.

Merkel was scheduled to meet with state premiers from the CDU later on Thursday to further discuss a potential successor to Koehler.

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June 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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