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Pressure mounts on Westerwelle to resign

The Local · 30 Mar 2011, 11:04

Published: 30 Mar 2011 11:04 GMT+02:00

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The pro-business FDP was trounced in Baden-Württemberg and turfed out of the state legislature in Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday, increasing the pressure on Westerwelle, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, to relinquish his party post as chairman.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a member of the FDP’s leadership council, told Stern magazine on Wednesday that Westerwelle should announce his intention to resign before a party conference in Rostock in May.

“A party chairman who loses crucial elections also has to face the consequences as party chairman,” he said, adding Westerwelle clearly had not been able to cope with the demands of his party post and his duties as foreign minister.

Chatzimarkakis said the FDP, which is the junior coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), needed Christian Lindner, the party’s general secretary, to take over.

“Lindner is willing to go against the grain and speak the truth. He doesn’t slavishly chain himself to the (conservatives) like Westerwelle has,” Chatzimarkakis said. “I see him as the natural successor.”

Christian Schmitt, the head of the FDP’s parliamentary group in the state of Saarland, told news agency DPA on Wednesday that Westerwelle should not remain foreign minister either.

“I don’t think Westerwelle is qualified to be foreign minister,” he said. “He hasn’t convinced me in the past year and a half at the Foreign Ministry.”

Schmitt said Westwerwelle would be best suited to head the FDP in parliament, but if he attempted to remain party chairman he would need to replace the rest of the Free Democratic leadership team, including his deputies Andreas Pinkwart, Cornelia Pieper and Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle.

“There has to be a coordinated overall personnel concept that sells liberal ideas in sympathetic way,” he said.

Brüderle has already given up his state leadership post in Rhineland-Palatinate after being widely blamed for torpedoing the election chances of the FDP and the CDU by admitting Merkel’s centre-right coalition had reversed its nuclear energy policy in a cynical attempt to pander to voters.

Story continues below…

Members of the FDP’s youth organization on Wednesday called for Brüderle to resign as economy minister after his damaging gaffe. Henning Höne, the head of the Junge Liberalen in North Rhine-Westphalia also said Westerwelle needed to step aside at the FDP party conference in May so the party could begin to rebuild.

“No-one can be spared from this personnel discussion – not even the party chairman,” he told Essen-based daily Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:41 March 30, 2011 by auniquecorn
Nooooooooo, Not the Wester.

How about the Merkel?

Why not the whole CDU?

Just not the Wester.
12:22 March 30, 2011 by Portnoy
He has been the problem for the last two years. Though I'd love to see him stay on since FDP fail is the spice in my German life.
12:42 March 30, 2011 by Krim
No he should stay and he is the best man to make the FDP vanishes.
13:32 March 30, 2011 by Gilly58
Bye bye mein lieber Schwesterwelle, you can now return to chalking your cue.
17:09 March 30, 2011 by Joe Soap
Hurray Hurray Hurray from all the Irish.

You promised that you would look after us if we voted yes in the last referendum and then you shafted us at the very first opportunity when you blackmailed us into accepting the Banking Bailout loan.

Rot in hell Angela and all the rest of you!

17:38 March 30, 2011 by romber58
Its very rare that i make an "Ad Hominen" comment ,but Westerwelle is such an incompetent foreign minister in a crisis It seems like he is a Peakock and just strived for the leadership of his party because his real aim was to strutt about the world stage as" The Aussenminister".
21:15 March 30, 2011 by lordkorner
Its unfair to compare Westerwelle to a Peacock , unfair to the Peacock that is.
09:15 March 31, 2011 by slawek
It would be about time. The problem with the FDP is, that they still haven't realized that they lost a lot of their clientele during the SPD/Greens occupation due to the bankruptcies of too many self-employed. I would approximate that 30% of their past loyal clients now feed on the welfare system. And since of course it's a serious tradition to the FDP to bash welfare recipients the party is quite lost in the post-SPD/Greens Armageddon.
09:32 March 31, 2011 by Angry Ami
Yeah put him out, through the " back door" :-P
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