Left still divided over presidential candidates

Left still divided over presidential candidates

Further talks have now been held with all three, said party leader gesine lotzsch after a four-hour meeting. The decision is now to be made on monday.

This is more of a symbolic act: the left-wing candidate has no chance, because the other parties in the bundestag have already agreed on joachim gauck, the head of the office responsible for the stasi documents.

The left had been excluded by chancellor angela merkel (CDU) from the search for the consensus candidate. In the meantime, renouncing his own candidacy is no longer an option. Party leader klaus ernst spoke of a "comfortable situation" and a number of good candidates. The left represents about 10 percent of the electorate in the federal assembly.

Klarsfeld had already been brought up by lotzsch on sunday. The 73-year-old had slapped german chancellor kurt georg kiesinger at a CDU party conference in 1968 and called him a nazi because of his NSDAP past. Later, together with her husband serge klarsfeld, she sought the extradition of nazi criminals such as the former gestapo chief of lyon, klaus barbie. In interviews, she made it clear even before the top round that she did not want to represent the party line of the left as a candidate.

Butterwegge was not named publicly until thursday. For the 61-year-old hartz IV critic, it was argued that he could better represent the political positions of the left. "I will be happy about the candidacy, because it offers the opportunity to point out the social division in germany," the poverty researcher told the "kolner stadt-anzeiger" and similarly the "mittelbayerische zeitung".

Jochimsen was already the presidential candidate of the left in 2010. On wednesday she had suggested boycotting the federal assembly in protest against the exclusion from the search for a consensus candidate.

Union faction leader volker kauder does not see chancellor angela merkel weakened by the coalition’s wrangling over gauck’s cure. Merkel was originally against the favorite of the SPD and the greens. "She has brought the search for candidates to a sensible end, saving us many a difficult discussion. That’s also good in view of the challenges," the CDU politician told the internet portal "focus online". Indirectly, kauder admonished the FDP not to boast that it had prevailed over CDU leader merkel on this issue: "A coalition should always be characterized by team play."

According to an emnid survey, the citizens of burgenland have no problem with gauck’s partially criticized private circumstances. The fact that he is still married but has been living with another partner for a long time is accepted by 78 percent of those surveyed, as reported by the news channel N24 as the client.