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Guttenberg rules out return for 2013 election

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Guttenberg rules out return for 2013 election
Photo: DPA
11:29 CET+01:00
Disgraced former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has stepped back from an imminent return to active German politics, saying the 2013 general election would not be the right time.

Talk of a Guttenberg return – something a certain section of his centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU) party has wanted since he was forced to resign last March – has been fuelled recently by party leader Horst Seehofer who promised he would all he could to make it happen.

Guttenberg asked to see Seehofer on Thursday and told him he was not going to come back yet, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

“It would not be the right moment,” wrote Guttenberg in a letter to the CSU. “And I have also to learn from my mistakes.”

He said he did not intend on making any public appearances in Germany, although he seemed to hint he would be back in politics at some point. “Yesterday it was about timing,” the letter said.

Seehofer said he respected Guttenberg's decision, despite having argued strongly in favour of a return.

Guttenberg resigned his ministerial post and was stripped of his doctorate last spring after it emerged that he had plagiarised much of his thesis. He and his family moved to the United States where he took up an honorary position with a political think tank.

He also published a book at the end of last year, and was appointed to be advisor to the European Union's internet commissioner in December.

The Local/hc

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