• Germany's news in English

Merkel nominates Wulff for president

The Local · 3 Jun 2010, 20:13

Published: 03 Jun 2010 20:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Wulff, a member of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, is all but certain to fill the shoes of Horst Köhler, who resigned unexpectedly on Monday as the country's largely ceremonial head of state.

“I am very grateful for the trust … I believe I can bring people together and do something for the cohesion of our society and provide courage and optimism in difficult times,” Wulff said in Berlin flanked by Merkel and the leaders of her coalition government, Guido Westerwelle and Horst Seehofer.

“Of course I'm somewhat saddened that Horst Köhler stepped down,” the 50-year-old said. “My entire efforts will be to serve the country and its people.”

Merkel said she was confident Wulff had the right character to become a great president.

“I'm very pleased Christian Wulff is prepared to take on this office,” she said. “I believe he will make a wonderful future president.”

Wulff's candidacy cristalised quickly on Thursday after Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen had been considered Merkel's favourite to replace Köhler.

Some conservatives and Free Democrats reportedly objected to von der Leyen's appointment while others were concerned it would be difficult to find a suitable replacement for the key portfolio of labour and social affairs.

Wulff will now face a vote on June 30 in the Federal Assembly, which is made up of the lower house of parliament and representatives from Germany's 16 states. Merkel's centre-right alliance of conservatives and Westerwelle's Free Democrats holds a solid majority in the body, ensuring Wulff will beat the candidate of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, Joachim Gauck.

SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel criticised the government's decision not to nominate a candidate with appeal beyond party lines.

Gauck, a pastor from Rostock who played a part in the peaceful revolution in East Germany, is widely respected across the political spectrum. The 70-year-old also headed the government agency charged with sifting through the extensive files of the communist country's infamous secret police, the Stasi.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:42 June 3, 2010 by Henckel
I'm disappointed Ursula has been so quickly replaced as a candidate? Whose idea was this?
12:56 June 5, 2010 by Englishted
If ,big if Germany win the World Cup then Loew for President.
Today's headlines
Temperatures rise as sunny winter weather continues
A wintry countryside scene in Brandenburg on Monday. Photo: DPA.

The days are sunny and the nights are cold across Germany, but weather forecasters predict higher temperatures as the week goes on.

In Pictures
1,000 sprinting Santas take over small German town
From Lapland to lap times: Santas shed the pounds. Photo: DPA

Nearly 1,000 bearded, red coat-wearing runners took over a small Brandenburg town on Sunday - here's why.

Germany bucks global trend, sells more weapons
A Puma tank used by the German military. Photo: DPA.

Weapons sales around the world decreased last year, despite various ongoing military conflicts. But major German firms actually greatly increased their sales at the same time.

Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

Nobody does Christmas quite like the Germans.
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
This is how unequal German society has become
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
10 German books you have to read before you die
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd