German President to Skip 2nd Term

German President to Skip 2nd TermGerman President to Skip 2nd Term

A media report says German President Joachim Gauck will not run for a second five-year term as the country’s head of state, citing health reasons and his age, according to the Berlin-based “Bild” newspaper. It says his decision will be officially announced next week. The paper added that Gauck will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday and make a public announcement on Tuesday, DPA reported. The paper suggests his age and health may be behind the 76-year-old’s decision. Gauck was confirmed as German president in March 2012. His term is expected to end in early 2017. Just last month, leaders of Germany’s governing parties reportedly pledged their support for Gauck serving a second term. The “Frankfurter Rundschau” newspaper reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and their Social Democrat coalition partners feared the negative impact of Gauck declining to run for a second term. It would mar their 2017 federal election campaigns if the parties were unable to agree on a consensus candidate. A recent poll suggests a broad majority of Germans would like Gauck to continue as president.