Tags: EU | Germany | President

Germany's President Joachim Gauck Won't Seek a Second Term

Monday, 06 June 2016 09:15 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's head of state, 76-year-old President Joachim Gauck, said Monday he won't seek a second term in 2017 due to his age.

Gauck told reporters at his office in Berlin he would complete his five-year term but didn't feel he was up to another because "the years between 77 and 82 are different than those that I'm in right now."

"Until the end of my term, I will seriously and happily fulfill my duties," he said.

Germany's president performs a largely ceremonial role that has little executive power, but is considered an important moral authority.

A year ago, Gauck labeled the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as "genocide" in a speech supported by the German government, marking a shift in the country's stance after officials previously avoided the term. His words were then echoed last week in a resolution passed by Germany's Parliament.

In a gesture of reconciliation in 2013, Gauck met with French President Francois Hollande at the site of the largest civilian massacre in Nazi-occupied France, Oradour-sur-Glane, saying he shared the bitterness of those in France "over the fact that the murderers have not been brought to justice." It was the first visit to the ghost town by a serving German leader.

More recently, Gauck has also spoken out against the rise of anti-Islam populist groups and their anti-migrant message, saying Germans should remember its own nation's history of fleeing war and persecution.

Gauck, a former East German pro-democracy activist with no political affiliation, won wide backing from Germany's mainstream parties when elected by lawmakers in 2012 and is very popular, with recent polls showing about 70 percent supporting him for a second term.

He said "it wasn't an easy decision" to decide to step down after his term is up.

A new president will be chosen in February, an awkward time for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces national elections later in 2017. With no obvious successor for Gauck, the search for a candidate seems likely to be complicated as factions in Merkel's coalition government seek their own nominee.

_____

Kirsten Grieshaber contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Europe
Germany's head of state, 76-year-old President Joachim Gauck, said Monday he won't seek a second term in 2017 due to his age.Gauck told reporters at his office in Berlin he would complete his five-year term but didn't feel he was up to another because "the years between 77...
EU,Germany,President
354
2016-15-06
Monday, 06 June 2016 09:15 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved