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CDU Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to become Bundestag president

Wolfgang Schäuble is expected to become the new president of the Bundestag. He is the parliament's longest-serving member and has led three ministries in a political career that began in 1972.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will be the new president of the Bundestag, German media reported on Wednesday. Figures from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies in the Christian Social Union (CSU) told reporters from the German press agency and the mass-circulation daily Bild that Schäuble would likely be formally nominated on October 17.

In a statement released Wednesday, Volker Kauder, the CDU's parliamentary leader, said the finance minister had indicated a willingness to make the move. "We are pleased that Wolfgang Schäuble has agreed to become a candidate for this position," he said. 

Following Sunday's elections, officials from the CDU, CSU, Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens — parties involved in complicated four-way talks to form a government — had all independently mentioned that the controversial finance minister might be a good fit to lead the parliament.

"Wolfgang Schäuble would surely be a good Bundestag president, but the CDU/CSU will decide completely autonomously whom they put up for election," Wolfgang Kubicki, the FDP's second-in-command, told the regional Rheinische Post for an article set for publication on Thursday. 

Asked about his future on Wednesday, Schäuble told the Mittelbadische Presse that "so shortly after the election, I'm not thinking about it."

The Finance Ministry had no comment on Thursday's reports.

Norbert Lammert, the CDU's long-standing Bundestag president, did not seek re-election this year.

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mkg/kms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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