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Merkel Chancellor to present Steinmeier as presidential candidate

Although the role of German president is largely ceremonial, the candidate is meant to represent Germany internationally.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin on November 9, 2016 play

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin on November 9, 2016

(AFP/File)

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Wednesday said that it is set to present Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat (SPD) ranked among Germany’s most popular politician, as its candidate for the presidency.

Merkel, Head, Centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), Horst Seehofer, Head, Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), and SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel will jointly advocate for Steinmeier during a press conference at noon.

The three parties are from Merkel’s grand coalition.

Although the role of German president is largely ceremonial, the candidate is meant to represent Germany internationally.

The presidency is therefore hotly contested between rival parties.

Merkel has come under fire from within the ranks of her conservative political bloc for agreeing to endorse a candidate from the SPD – its traditional rival ahead of a general election in 2017.

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