FM Steinmeier likely to become next German president

Chancellor Merkel’s conservatives and Social Democrats agree to support Steinmeier as the next president

FM Steinmeier likely to become next German president

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany’s ruling conservative-left coalition government agreed on Monday to back Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as the country’s next president.

Chancellor Angela Merkel described Steinmeier as an outstanding candidate for the presidency, and said coalition parties would back him in the presidential elections set for Feb. 12.

“Mr. Steinmeier is a person representing a political center. He is well-respected by the business community, by the society, both in our country and abroad,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

“For this reason, I believe that he is an outstanding candidate for the position of the federal president,” she said.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) had initially sought a conservative candidate, but following Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel’s strong insistence, it agreed to support Steinmeier for the presidency.

The next president will be elected in February by the Federal Convention, a constitutional body consisting of all the lawmakers and representatives chosen by the federal states.

Following the agreement by the leaders of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the SPD, 60-year-old Steinmeier is likely to enter elections without a major challenge.

Germany’s current President Joachim Gauck, who did not seek a second five-year term, will leave office in March. 

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Last Mod: 14 Kasım 2016, 20:50
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