Numerous Green politicians have appealed for Klaus Töpfer, head of the United Nations Environment Program, to run for German president, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper has reported. The Green politicians contacted the former Christian Democrat's old party to discuss the idea, the paper wrote. Töpfer served as environmental minister in former Chancellor Helmut Kohl's cabinet. Johannes Rau, who has been president since 1999, has announced he will not run for re-election when his term expires next year. A new president will be chosen in May 2004 by a special federal body in which the opposition Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party the CSU and the Free Democrats hold a majority.