Senior conservatives raised pressure on Wolfgang Schaeuble on Tuesday to give up the finance ministry and become Bundestag president to stamp his authority on Germany’s next parliament, which will include newly elected members of the far-right.
Schaeuble has controlled the powerful finance ministry since 2009 but the outcome of Sunday’s elections, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives haemorrhaged support to the far-right, has raised doubts over whether he can hold onto the job.
“Given the new situation in parliament, Wolfgang Schaeuble would in every respect be exactly the kind of parliamentary authority that would do us good now in the Reichstag,” Armin Schuster, a conservative interior policy expert, told Reuters with reference to Germany’s parliamentary building.
In Sunday’s national election, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by becoming the first far-right party to enter parliament in more than half a century.
A member of the executive committee of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) said of Schaeuble’s potential move to Bundestag president: “This would be very important – because of the AfD and the climate in parliament.”
Schaeuble, a conservative member of parliament since 1972, has refused to discuss his future after the election.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)