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BERLIN, November 14 /TASS/. Party bigwigs making up the German coalition (the Christian Democratic Union/CDU - Christian Social Union/CSU bloc and the Social Democratic Party of Germany) agreed to nominate Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier for president, Germany’s TV channel n-tv reported on Monday.
Vice Chancellor Gabriel confirms that coalition parties have agreed on Foreign Minister Steinmeier as new German president.— Siobhán Dowling (@SiobhanDowling) 14 November 2016
Earlier, the CDU, the CSU and the Social Democratic Party of Germany held several unproductive meetings on choosing a possible successor to incumbent German President Joachim Gauck. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofers did not want to throw support behind the Social Democrat nominee, Steinmeier, until the last minute.
Local observers believe this fact indicates that the German parties have already joined the election race in the run-up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Among those the CDU/CSU bloc had been considering to be Gauck's successor, were Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, Andreas Voskuhle, Rresident of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the most likely candidates.
The German Federal Assembly is a special body, which will convene on February 12, 2017 to elect a new president. It consists of about 1,260 delegates, half of whom are Bundestag deputies. The other half consists of deputies of parliaments of German federal lands.
Incumbent German President Joachim Gauck said early in June that he had no plans to run for a second term.