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Von der Leyen tipped to become president

DDP/The Local · 2 Jun 2010, 07:08

Published: 02 Jun 2010 07:08 GMT+02:00

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Several leading newspapers, citing Christian Democrats party sources, reported that Merkel threw her weight behind von der Leyen at a coalition meeting Tuesday, following the surprise resignation of President Horst Köhler.

News magazine Der Spiegel quoted one source as saying her candidacy was ''firming up.''

Von der Leyen would be Germany's first woman president.

However, Merkel still needed to win the support of coalition partners the Free Democrats, who have their own favoured candidates.

Köhler resigned abruptly on Monday, in response to criticism of comments he made suggesting Germany’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan was partly driven by economic motives.

Von der Leyen, a 51-year-old mother of seven, is widely regarded as a families-oriented politician, defending for instance a more generous welfare system and crusading against child pornography on the internet.

As a potential president, she has won support elsewhere. Gerd Langguth, a former Christian Democrats MP and biographer of both Merkel and Köhler, said von der Leyen had the right qualities for the job.

“She could carry out the duties of the office with a particular human warmth,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse.

Saxony Anhalt’s CDU Economy Minister, Reiner Haseloff, said von der Leyen’s candidacy also painted the conservatives as a party that promoted “equal opportunities for the sexes.”

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With her family-oriented policies, von der Leyen was a “classically conservative politician,” he told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

She also had a strong ability to engage with people, which made her a good choice, he added.

Asked on Tuesday for her own view, von der Leyen told broadcaster ZDF that, despite all the speculation, Germany needed to focus on finding the right solution and it was therefore improper to talk about it.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 June 2, 2010 by auniquecorn
51 years old, 7 children?, I guess she spent alot of time in administration and politics, Just what the Gov. needs, someone with TOns and TONS of experience.
11:09 June 2, 2010 by William Thirteen
that would be a mistake
13:01 June 2, 2010 by Clapoti
The President doesn't decide much here I think... so I guess it doesn't really matter who it is.

@MapleLeafDude: the problem is not blocking the child porn stuff... everybody think it should be banned... but the problem behind it is that they would implement a way to easily block websites they don't want people to have access to... first child porn, then work their way to violent content, then normal porn... who knows. It's just a dangerous step forward.
18:33 June 2, 2010 by twisted
Having a babe as a president wouldn't be bad....Eye candy every day.
21:31 June 2, 2010 by wolfer
She is cute! (For her age).
22:36 June 2, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Of course she's going to be President. She belongs to the Leyen family, which is among Germany's most powerful old aristocratic houses.
01:25 June 3, 2010 by Prufrock2010
As President of Germany is a ceremonial position, what difference does it make? So long as she expresses no opinion about anything she'll be fine.
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