Horst Koehler, German President, Quits Over Military Remarks
Horst Koehler the German President Has Quit May 31 Over Criticism Relating to Military Remarks
Horst Koehler resigned suddenly on Monday May 31 and cited reasons that criticism directed at him over German military deployments overseas means that his office has been disrespected.
The parties now have 30 days to elected a federal president.
In a brief statement on Monday, Horst Koehler said that after a radio interview on May 22 he sustained a lot of criticism for saying:
"a country of our size, with this foreign-trade orientation and thus also trade dependence, must know that...in extremis military deployments are needed to uphold our interests, for example open trade routes..."
Many critics saw this as a declaration that Germany should fight to protect their business interests, but the President said that is not what he intended in his statement. By 'open trade routes' he meant their participation off the coast of Africa against the pirates, not their war currently going on in Afghanistan.
After he was accused of supporting war and in turn violating the German constitution he decided to resign.
The resignation could add fuel to a debate about the weakness of political leadership in the European Union's most populous country and biggest economy. Ms. Merkel is under fire from German lawmakers and media for her hesitant handling of the euro zone's escalating financial crisis this spring, and analysts say the chancellor's risk-averse style of trying to sit out problems is wearing thin with German voters.