Former East German activist nominated as President
Chancellor Angela Merkel demonstrated her ability in the art of compromise on Sunday, bowing to pressure from the opposition and from within her own coalition in nominating as president Joachim Gauck, a former activist from East Germany whom she opposed for the post just two years ago.
Mrs. Merkel appeared eager to have the troublesome issue of the presidency resolved after Christian Wulff stepped down on Friday from the largely ceremonial post, less than two years into his term, amid allegations of wrongdoing while he was governor of Lower Saxony.
Mrs. Merkel had emphasized the importance of nominating a candidate that all parties in Parliament could agree on.
“After intense consideration of various suggestions of possibilities, we arrived at an agreement — this joint candidate is the rights activist and previous head of the Stasi Archive, Joachim Gauck,” she said at a news conference called after about an hour of bipartisan consultations.
Mrs. Merkel’s position eroded sharply when the junior partner in her coalition, the Free Democrats, came out in support of Mr. Gauck, 72. Mrs. Merkel’s center-right coalition has been prone to infighting and holds only a wafer-thin majority in the special parliamentary assembly that must elect a new president within 30 days of Mr. Wulff’s resignation.
Mr. Gauck was nominated for the presidency by Mrs. Merkel’s opponents in Parliament during the last round of voting, in 2010. He lost to Mr. Wulff, a former member of Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, despite widespread public support.
“Without question he is a respectable and recognizable candidate,” Rainer Brüderle, parliamentary leader for the Free Democrats, said of Mr. Gauck in an interview with the public broadcaster ARD.
A son of a survivor of a Soviet Gulag, Gauck’s political life was heavily influenced by the suffering of his own family and his upbringing in the totalitarian communist regime of East Germany. A founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, together with Václav Havel and other statesmen, and the Declaration on Crimes of Communism, Gauck has called for increased awareness of communist crimes in Europe and the prosecution of communist criminals. He has written on Soviet-era concentration camps, the crimes of communism, and political oppression in East Germany. Gauck has criticized the political left of ignoring communist crimes. The Independent has described him as “Germany’s answer to Nelson Mandela.” He has been described by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a “true teacher of democracy” and a “tireless advocate of freedom, democracy and justice.”
dont know a lot about this stooge but i am sure he has some secrets..germanys answer to nelson mandela..so he spent 25 years in jail did he?