Merkel challenger blasts 'worst cabinet' in German history
BERLIN (AFP) - Former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck on Monday slammed Angela Merkel's government as one of the worst in modern German history as he won unanimous party backing to challenge her at next year's elections.
Mr Steinbrueck, 65, vowed an "exciting" and "fun" campaign in the run-up to the election that must take place in September or October 2013 as he attacked Dr Merkel's record and promised greater regulation of the banking sector.
"I think that the ... vast majority of the cabinet - I admit there are maybe two exceptions - is one of the worst, maybe the worst cabinet in the history of the federal republic," he told supporters and reporters.
"This should not be a boring election campaign. This should not be a humourless campaign. There must be fun and a few jokes," said the feisty father-of-three from Hamburg.