February 18

Another German President resigns

For the second time in two years, a German president has resigned.  Australian republicans often refer to the German model is one where the president fulfils the role as well as a constitutional monarch can.  We have demonstrated in this column that this is not so. “Republican Rorts: From Manila to Berlin and Paris”


According to Reuters, the German Chancellor’s  hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president has resigned over political favors.  

The president, Christian Wulff has acknowledged that he has lost the trust of the German people. He said this made it impossible for him to continue in a role that is meant to serve as a moral compass for the nation.

"For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad as required," said Wulff, standing next to his wife Bettina.

Wulff was once seen as a potential rival to Chancellor Merkel. Many in Germany saw his appointment as a ploy by the Chancellor to push him out of the political arena.




His predecessor, Horst Koehler, was the former head of the World Bank. According to The Australian, he was another appointment by Chancellor Angela Merke. He was a controversial choice, an active politician who was premier of Lower Saxony. It was reported that Mrs Merkel was trying to move to weaken him as an opponent.

President Wulff has also been rocked by scandals. These allegations have been largely over his connections with wealthy businessmen and an advantageous home loan from a friend's wife. There were also reports of free holidays from friends.He also resigned

According to Reuters, President Wulff had long cultivated a schoolboy image, but his reputation took a hammering when the Bild newspaper reported late last year that he had misled the state parliament about a cheap 500,000 euro ($650,000) home loan from a businessman friend before becoming president.

Last month he admitted making a "grave mistake" by threatening the editor of top-selling Bild with "war" if he published the story about his private finance dealings.

The president’s predecessor, former International Monetary Fund chief Horst Koehler, resigned unexpectedly who after coming under fire for comments he made about the German mission in Afghanistan and failing to get strong backing from Merkel.

A vote in the 1,244-seat Federal Assembly must take place within a month, or by March 18.



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