Vuvuzelas mar Wulff’s farewell
BERLIN - Agence France-PresseVuvuzela-wielding protestors kept up a constant barrage of noise at a torchlit military ceremony March 9 for Germany’s former president Christian Wulff, who left office last month.
Some 250 demonstrators blowing the plastic horns that became famous during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa made their feelings loudly known as a military band battled to compete. Wulff, for less than two years Germany’s youngest head of state, became embroiled in a quick-fire series of scandals played out in the media, culminating in prosecutors asking parliament to lift his immunity.
Around 160 of the 369 invited guests stayed away in protest, according to mass circulation daily Bild. Nevertheless, Chancellor Angela Merkel and most of the German cabinet attended the ceremony in the gardens of the sumptuous presidential palace. Turkish ambassador to Berlin, Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu, also attended the ceremony.
Wulff’s successor, Joachim Gauck, 72, an East German Lutheran pastor and human rights activist, is due to be elected on March 18 with the backing of all main political parties.