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German President Joachim Gauck to not stand for second term, 'Bild' newspaper reports

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. It says his decision will be officially announced next week.

German President Joachim Gauck will not pursue a second term as Germany's head of state, according to the Berlin-based "Bild" newspaper.

The paper added that Gauck will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, and make a public announcement on Tuesday.

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.

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 (SPD) coalition partners feared the negative impact of Gauck declining to run for a second term.

Joachim Gauck with his partner Daniela Schadt

Joachim Gauck with his partner Daniela Schadt

According to the report, 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.

Gauck's term is expected to end in early 2017.

ls/jr (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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