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Germany

Christian Wulff sworn in as Germany's new president

Christian Wulff has taken the oath of office in Berlin as Germany's 10th president. The inauguration of the new head of state comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government faces decreasing approval ratings.

German president-elect, Christian Wulff

Wulff was sworn in before the upper and lower houses of parliament on Friday

Germany's new president was sworn in on Friday, two days after Christian Wulff was elected by the Federal Convention.

Wulff, who belongs to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, was victorious in Wednesday's grueling three-round, nine-hour-long election, after being expected to sail into office with a comfortable majority in the first round.

He defeated the opposition Social Democrats' and Green Party's candidate, Joachim Gauck, by taking 625 votes - and an absolute majority - in the third and final round of voting.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

Well over half the population sees the current coalition collapsing 'soon'

Major setback for struggling government

According to the results released Friday of a poll commissioned by German public broadcaster, ARD, more than two-thirds of Germans expect Wulff to be a "good" president.

Of the over thousand Germans polled, just 13 percent said he wouldn't be able to perform the tasks required of him well.

Though the survey suggests that Germans are in support of Wulff, it also indicates that the population is deeply dissatisfied with the performance of the current coalition government of Merkel's Christian Democrats and the liberal Free Democrats.

Almost 70 percent described Wulff's inability to obtain an absolute majority in the first round of voting on Wednesday as a "disgrace" and a signal of Merkel's poor governing abilities.

Less than one-third of those polled said Wulff's taking office would help the government regain control of the present situation.

Over 60 percent of the Germans asked said it wouldn't "take long" before the coalition would fall apart, prompting fresh elections.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AP/dpa)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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