East German communist Gysi runs for parliament

3rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 June 2005, BERLIN - Gregor Gysi, the fast-talking and popular ex-leader of the former East German communists, announced on Friday he will run for a seat in Germany's federal parliament in elections expected this autumn.

3 June 2005

BERLIN - Gregor Gysi, the fast-talking and popular ex-leader of the former East German communists, announced on Friday he will run for a seat in Germany's federal parliament in elections expected this autumn.

Gysi, who is 57 and has recovered from three heart attacks and surgery on his brain, said doctors had given him a green light but that he would have to impose strict work-load limits.

Following the collapse of communist East Germany's hardline leadership and the 9 November 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall, Gysi was elected to head the former ruling party which came to rename itself the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).

After the 1990 German reunification, Gysi served in the Bundestag federal parliament from 1990 to 2002. He was PDS chairman until 2002 but has remained the party's figurehead even after standing down from this post.

He served briefly as Berlin's city government economics senator in 2002.

Gysi, who worked as a lawyer in communist East Germany and still practises law, has frequently been haunted by his past.

Following years of allegations that he worked for East Germany's hated Stasi secret police, a majority in the German parliament's Immunity Committee voted in 1998 that Gysi had served as a Stasi informer from 1975 to 1986.

Gysi has always strongly denied the allegations.

Germany's federal election is expected to be held on 18 September.

DPA

Subject: German news

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