The Straits Times
Published on Sep 28, 2012

Former finance minister to take on Merkel in 2013 elections


BERLIN (AFP) - Germany's opposition Social Democrat Party (SPD) has chosen Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections next year, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Citing party sources, mass circulation Bild said the centre-left party had selected Mr Steinbrueck, 65, to run against Mrs Merkel in the election that will be held in September or October 2013.

Bild said Mr Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the SPD, would propose Mr Steinbrueck at a special meeting of the party on Monday.

Mr Steinbrueck beat off competition both from Mr Gabriel and another SPD heavyweight Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who ran unsuccessfully against Mrs Merkel in 2009.