rain.png
Monday May 23rd, 2022 8:06AM

Main German opposition party backs second term for president

By The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's biggest opposition party said Wednesday that it will support President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's reelection, giving the incumbent a clear run to a second term.

A few figures in ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union had advocated nominating a woman to run as Germany's next head of state when a special assembly meets on Feb. 13 to elect a new president. Germany hasn't yet had a female president.

But the chances of a challenger being elected more or less evaporated on Tuesday when the Greens became the last of the three parties in new Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government to endorse a second term for Steinmeier. The incumbent, who was long a member of Scholz's center-left Social Democrats and turned 66 on Wednesday, is widely respected across Germany's political mainstream.

The CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, decided to back Steinmeier because the country needs “a credible voice that brings people together and doesn't marginalize them” at a time of tension and division fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, outgoing CDU leader Armin Laschet said. He praised the president's “great foreign policy expertise.”

“After weighing the different arguments, we decided in this phase in which Germany now stands to give our support to a president who is prepared to carry on doing his duty for the country,” Laschet said. “But I think that the time will come when a woman becomes president.”

The assembly that will choose the president is made up of the members of parliament's lower house and an equal number of representatives of Germany's 16 states. The parties in Scholz's coalition will have a majority, though not a huge one. The center-right bloc's backing removes any risk of Steinmeier facing a serious challenge.

Steinmeier announced that he would seek a second term in May, months before the parliamentary election that brought Scholz’s coalition to power. Although his chances of reelection looked far from certain at the time, he said he wanted to help heal divisions widened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Before becoming president, Steinmeier served twice as Merkel’s foreign minister. He was previously Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief of staff.

Germany’s president has little executive power, but is considered an important moral authority. After a messy parliamentary election result in 2017, Steinmeier helped prod politicians to form a new coalition government rather than holding out for a new vote.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Virginia officials defend response to snowy gridlock on I-95
Virginia officials are defending their response to the snowy gridlock that resulted on Interstate 95 after a winter storm dumped nearly 11 inches of snow
5:21AM ( 12 minutes ago )
With salty language, Macron berates France’s unvaccinated
French President Emmanuel Macron has provoked outcries in parliament and shrill protests from election rivals by using a vulgarity to describe his strategy for pressuring vaccine refusers to get coronavirus jabs
5:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
World shares mixed after tech-led sell-off on Wall Street
World shares are mixed after heavy selling of technology shares cast a chill over the cheerful start to 2022 on Wall Street
5:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
French presidential contenders adapt campaign to pandemic
The conservative candidate in France's presidential race says she will adapt her campaign to coronavirus conditions, focusing on social media and staging small gatherings with voters instead of big rallies
11:38AM ( 17 hours ago )
Black lawmakers to sue to block Michigan redistricting maps
Current and former Black state lawmakers in Detroit have announced a pending lawsuit to block Michigan’s newly drawn congressional and legislative districts, contending they illegally dilute the voting strength of African Americans
9:27AM ( 20 hours ago )
As South Dakota campaigns launch, Thune mulls retirement
South Dakota political candidates are revving into full campaign mode this week, with one big exception — Republican Sen. John Thune
5:11PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Capitol rioters' tears, remorse don't spare them from jail
Many rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol a year ago are shedding tears and expressing remorse when judges sentence them for their part in the insurrection
9:12AM ( 2 days ago )
Austrian Holocaust survivor "Mrs. Gertrude" dies at 94
The Holocaust survivor Gertrude Pressburger has died at age 94
1:53PM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Governor to pardon Plessy, of ‘separate but equal’ ruling
Louisiana's governor is slated to posthumously pardon Homer Plessy, who was arrested trying to overthrow a Jim Crow ban on Black people sitting in “whites-only” train cars
1:02AM ( 4 hours ago )
Virginia officials defend respond to snowy gridlock on I-95
Virginia officials are defending their response to the snowy gridlock that resulted on Interstate 95 after a winter storm dumped nearly 11 inches of snow
12:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into sea
The South Korean and Japanese militaries say North Korea has fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea, the first such launch in about two months and a signal that Pyongyang isn’t interested in rejoining denuclearization talks anytime soon and would rather focus on boosting its weapons arsenal
12:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Virginia officials defend response to snowy gridlock on I-95
Virginia officials are defending their response to the snowy gridlock that resulted on Interstate 95 after a winter storm dumped nearly 11 inches of snow
5:21AM ( 12 minutes ago )
With salty language, Macron berates France’s unvaccinated
French President Emmanuel Macron has provoked outcries in parliament and shrill protests from election rivals by using a vulgarity to describe his strategy for pressuring vaccine refusers to get coronavirus jabs
5:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
World shares mixed after tech-led sell-off on Wall Street
World shares are mixed after heavy selling of technology shares cast a chill over the cheerful start to 2022 on Wall Street
5:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Reports: Protesters in Kazakhstan storm city mayor's office
News outlets in Kazakhstan are reporting that demonstrators protesting rising fuel prices broke into the mayor’s office in the country's largest city and flames were seen coming from inside
5:07AM ( 26 minutes ago )
China reports major drop in virus cases in locked-down Xi'an
China has reported a major drop in COVID-19 infections in the northern city of Xi’an, which has been under a tight lockdown for the past two weeks that has sharply disrupted the lives of its 13 million residents
5:02AM ( 31 minutes ago )