Merkel Backs Steinmeier for President in Signal for Election

  • Grand coalition seen as most likely option after 2017 ballot
  • Steinmeier says ‘a lot will become more difficult’ under Trump
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Chancellor Angela Merkel gave ground to her coalition partner and agreed to support Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the next German president, laying the ground for a resumption of the two parties’ alliance after next year’s federal election.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party threw its support behind the Social Democratic pick for the presidency during a conference call of senior party leaders on Monday. The incumbent, Joachim Gauck, is standing down after one five-year term in office.

Merkel praised Steinmeier’s dependability and said that she has worked “unusually closely” with him since she came to office and he served as a member of her first Cabinet from 2005 to 2009. He is “excellently suited” to the post of president, she told reporters.

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Merkel Backs Steinmeier for President in Signal for Election