The Latest: German finance chief to be parliament speaker

AP News
Posted: Sep 27, 2017 9:21 AM
The Latest: German finance chief to be parliament speaker

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on politics in Germany following a national election (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

German media report that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is set to become parliament's new speaker. A likely partner in the country's next government is welcoming the move.

News agency dpa and Bild newspaper reported Wednesday that caucus leaders will propose Schaeuble ahead of parliament's first meeting next month.

The news outlets cited unidentified officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc,

The biggest caucus traditionally provides the speaker. The prestigious job is vacant after incumbent Norbert Lammert stepped down.

Schaeuble has been a key figure in eurozone rescue efforts. Becoming speaker would take him out of government.

Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democrats — one of two parties with which Merkel will attempt to form a government — offered his support.

He says Schaeuble has "natural authority" that will serve parliament well.


11:40 a.m.

Leaders of the nationalist and anti-migrant Alternative for Germany say they're not concerned that its newly-departed figurehead Frauke Petry might form a new party.

The party's co-chairwoman since 2015 abruptly left Alternative for Germany, or AfD, after Sunday's election in which it won 12.6 percent of the vote.

Petry cited months of in-fighting among its leadership, saying AfD wasn't in a position to push for the political change she thought the country needed. She's intimated she might form another party, but hasn't made any announcement.

AfD co-leader Alice Weidel told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday "there's utterly no concern" that Petry may draw support away.

Appearing with co-leader Alexander Gauland, she said: "this party, should she even found one, would be doomed to failure."