German ruling coalition backs Steinmeier as president - media

German ruling coalition backs Steinmeier as president - media

The conservative CDU and CSU parties have backed Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier to replace Joachim Gauck as president, paving the way for him to take up the post without a serious challenge.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU) has backed Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier to be the ruling coaliton's candidate for the German presidency, following talks among party leaders on Monday morning.

The CDU's Bavarian sister-party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), also gave its backing for Steinmeier. "We have come to an agreement, CSU and CDU," CSU leader Horst Seehofer said. "That is what's important."

The CDU, SPD and CSU party heads had repeatedly held talks to discuss a joint candidate to replace Gauck. Such talks often proved acrimonious, the Deutsche Welle reports.

Incumbent president Gauck announced earlier this year that he would not seek a second term in office on account of old age.

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