Germany to elect new president

18:18, June 30, 2010      

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Germany will begin its new president election on Wednesday noon, a new test for the current government.

The Federal Assembly, formed by 1,244 delegates from both houses of parliament and states, will elect a president from three candidates, nominated by the coalition government, the major opposition and the Left party.

Christian Wulff, the current premier of Lower Saxony, nominated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has the most possibility to win the election, as Merkel's CDU-FDP government controls 644 votes in principle, 21 more votes than the absolute majority needed.

However, some delegates from FDP have openly expressed their favor for his major competitor Joachim Gauck, a pro-democracy activist, nominated by the major opposition.

The president usually serves as a ceremonial position in German political life. However, this election really posts a serious test for the future of Merkel's government, which has been already weakened by the failure of local election and widely-criticized measures in dealing debt crisis in euro-zone countries.

"Those who vote for Gauck know that they're putting the government at risk of collapse," said Ulrich Deupmann, a political analyst.

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