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Germany

Opposition Fails to Agree on Presidential Candidate

The leaders of Germany's two main opposition parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), are now denying earlier reports that they had agreed to back veteran CDU politician Wolfgang Schäuble as their joint candidate in the May election for a new federal president. Calls have been growing louder for a decision following weeks of debate about the suitability of Schäuble, who lost his post as party chairman in 2000 over allegations about his role in an illegal party donations scandal. The Liberal Free Democrats (FDP), Germany's third largest opposition party, are refusing to back Schäuble for the presidency and are considering putting forward a candidate of their own to succeed incumbent president Johannes Rau (SPD) who has declined to run again.