WORLD


Merkel’s party backs Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for German President

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Baku, November 14, AZERTAC

Germany’s popular foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is set to become the country’s next president despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition parties’ initial opposing the appointment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The agreement on filling Germany’s highest public office with a veteran politician from the left-leaning Social Democrats averts a confrontation in the coalition ahead of the presidential election in February and less than a year before a general election next fall. But experts said Ms. Merkel’s failure to find a candidate in her own conservative camp was a sign of weakness.

“This shows a certain degree of weakness and is an embarrassment, which shouldn’t happen in a party where the chancellor is in charge,” said Tilman Mayer, professor for political science at the University of Bonn. “It also shows she has passed the high point of her time as chancellor.”

Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who hope to win a fourth term next year, dropped their initial opposition to Mr. Steinmeier after failing to come up with a candidate of their own, according to party officials. Joachim Gauck, the outgoing head of state, said in June he wouldn’t seek a second term.

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