Opposition pressures Merkel on Wulff case
People protest demanding Wulff resign outside the presidential palace, in Berlin.Germany’s main opposition party piled pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday over a scandal dogging her handpicked candidate for president, calling for new elections if he were to step down.
The party’s secretary general, Andrea Nahles, told the Bild am Sonntag weekly: “If Wulff resigns, then there should be new elections ... the Wulff affair is also a Merkel affair.” “Christian Wulff is not up to the office of federal president. Staying in office, no matter what happens? That behavior is not acceptable ... I have serious doubts that he will survive this affair,” added Nahles. The SPD’s parliamentary group leader, former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also chimed in, noting Merkel had pushed through Wulff’s election to the largely ceremonial post in 2010. “She cannot just act as if she has nothing to do with this whole affair and as if the federal president is in a different political sphere,” Steinmeier told yesterday’s edition of the Tagesspiegel.
The scandal broke in December when mass circulation Bild reported that Wulff failed to declare a loan he had obtained from the wife of a wealthy tycoon when he was the leader of the state of Lower Saxony. Before opposition’s call, Merkel’s spokesman denied media reports Jan. 7 that said she was discussing with coalition partners potential replacements for Wulff.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.