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German opposition to nominate former FinMin as chancellor candidate

(Xinhua)

08:41, September 29, 2012

BERLIN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- German opposite party Social Democrats (SPD) on Friday announced the nomination of former federal finance minister Peer Steinbrueck as their candidate for chancellor elections next year.

SPD President Sigmar Gabriel said Steinbrueck, who ran the finance ministry during Chancellor Angela Merkel's first term between 2005 to 2009, will be officially proposed as a candidate in an executive meeting on Monday.

He added SPD would compete in the federal election in a coalition with the Greens.

"I accept the challenge to lead SPD in the federal elections," Steinbrueck told the the press conference.

Earlier Friday, German newspaper Bild reported that two other potential candidates in SPD, Gabriel himself and SPD parliament party leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had quit the contest.

In a poll by Emnid for German N24 television, 59 percent believed Steinbrueck would be a competent chancellor. 49 percent of respondents thought he was "sympathetic" and 45 percent regard his political spectrum as "conservative."

The German federal elections will be held mid next year. A previous poll showed Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has more public support than SPD.

Merkel is seeking a third term in office and has said she is confident of success.

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