Angela Merkel Pushes For Unity After Election Rebuke

by
staphni
Germany's election Wednesday of Christian Wulff, the youngest president in its history, and a backer of Chancellor Angela Merkel, should have been a formality given Ms. Merkel’s comfortable majority in parliament. Instead it turned into a big slap in the face at a time when her popularity is at all-time low.Triggered by the unexpected resignation of Horst Köhler, the election by a special parliamentary commission of the young conservative had to go into a rare third round of voting. The election is the most blatant manifestation of the political turmoil within Merkel’s coalition and comes as a debt-ridden Europe searches for leadership from its largest economy. "The vote shows that this coalition has huge problems," says Heinrich Oberreuter, a political analyst at Passau University. "It could be a wake up call for her to design strategies to regain people’s trust. This is vital." Annette Schavan, education minister for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told public radio: 'We would h