Stoiber pulls out of proposed coalition

Edmund Stoiber, who was set to become Germany’s economy minister, announced today that he would not participate in the incoming government.

Stoiber, head of the Christian Social Union, told reporters that his party would nevertheless continue to support Angela Merkel’s proposed left-right coalition with the Social Democrats.

Speaking to reporters in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Stoiber said the situation had changed, following the announcement yesterday by Merkel’s intended deputy chancellor, Franz Muentefering, that he would quit as leader of his Social Democratic Party and possibly not join the proposed Cabinet as well.

“In this altered situation, I have reached the decision that as the head of the party, I can better support the interests of the Christian Democratic Union in Munich,” Stoiber said. “I will remain as governor of Bavaria.”

Stoiber had described Muentefering, with whom he has worked successfully in the past, as a “cornerstone” of the proposed government.

Merkel was expected to give a statement to reporters later Tuesday regarding Stoiber’s decision.

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