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Angela Merkels Coalition in Turmoil as Deputy Gives Up FDP Post

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:33 AM
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(Bloomberg) German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered more turmoil within her coalition as her deputy, Guido Westerwelle, stepped down as head of his party after regional election defeats spurred by voter opposition to nuclear power.

Westerwelle, who serves as vice chancellor and foreign minister, announced yesterday that he wont stand for re- election as Free Democratic Party chairman after 10 years in the post, becoming the highest-profile casualty of the March 27 defeats inflicted on the coalition parties. Stefan Mappus quit as regional leader of Merkels Christian Democrats in Baden- Wuerttemberg after his party lost its 58-year hold on power.

As if Merkel hasnt had enough bad news lately, now her coalition partner is tearing itself apart, Hans-Juergen Hoffmann, head of the Psephos polling company, said by phone in Berlin. She cant just look away: her governing coalition is unraveling.

Merkel, who last year pushed through an extension of nuclear-plant lifespans by an average of 12 years, has been thrust onto the back foot by mounting voter concern at reactor safety following the crisis in Japan. ............(more)

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