German government party seeks new leader

AP News
Posted: Apr 04, 2011 3:57 AM
German government party seeks new leader

The junior party in Germany's governing coalition is looking for a new leader after Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he would give up the job in the wake of dire regional election performances.

Westerwelle said Sunday he will step down next month as chairman of the pro-business Free Democrats, whom he has led for a decade. He plans to remain foreign minister.

The party leadership is meeting on Monday. One of its members, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, told ZDF television it was important to make decisions quickly because the party needs "calm and a focus on substantial work."

The 38-year-old health minister, Philipp Roesler, and 32-year-old party general secretary Christian Lindner are widely viewed as favorites for the leadership.