dapd, Torsten Silz, Associated Press
BERLIN — Germany's government and the two major opposition parties said Sunday they would jointly nominate former East German human rights activist Joachim Gauck to be the country's next president.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said her center-right coalition government, and the center-left opposition rallied behind the Gauck, who was initially proposed by the opposition Social Democrats and Greens.
Christian Wulff, 52, quit as president Friday after two months of allegations he received favors such as a favorable loan, and hotel stays from friends when he was state governor of Lower Saxony. He was Merkel's candidate when elected less than two years ago, triumphing at that time over Gauck, 72, in a messy election.
When Wulff resigned, Merkel immediately said she would work with the Social Democrats and Greens to find a consensus candidate to succeed him.
Germany's head of state holds a largely ceremonial role. The incumbent typically uses his moral authority, standing above party politics, to influence debates in society and politics.
The new president will be elected by a special assembly next month, but with cross-party backing, the process should be a formality.
In the meantime, the speaker of parliament's upper house, conservative Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, has taken over the presidential duties on an interim basis, mostly signing legislation into law.
- Georgia girl struck by plane on Florida beach...
- Comic-Con's dark side: Harassment amid the...
- The Great War: 100 photos marking 100 years...
- Trial begins for Salt Lake attorney seeking...
- Ground Zero cross can stay at 9/11 museum,...
- US Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers
- Judge rules against Donald Sterling, OKs...
- Navajo Generating Station, West's largest...
- US Court: Virginia marriage is for all... 38
- Federal land managers criticized over... 26
- Feds cap fines for not buying health... 22
- Obama maintains busy fundraising... 22
- After government topples crosses in... 19
- Ted Cruz demands answers on FAA flight... 16
- Fast food workers vow civil disobedience 15
- Gaza sides agree to lull but truce... 13