FDP rocked by new resignation

22nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 July 2004, STUTTGART - Germany's centrist Free Democratic Party (FDP) was rocked by the resignation of a key regional official Thursday, a day after the party's standard-bearer confirmed reports that he is gay.

22 July 2004

STUTTGART - Germany's centrist Free Democratic Party (FDP) was rocked by the resignation of a key regional official Thursday, a day after the party's standard-bearer confirmed reports that he is gay.

Corinna Werwigk-Hertneck, one of the senior figures in Germany's small pro-business FDP, resigned as justice minister in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg amid a criminal investigation of legal documents allegedly leaked to private enterprise.

The scandal was a new blow to the FDP, which is junior partner to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the southwestern state's government.

Her resignation comes a month after another key FDP official in Baden-Wuerttemberg resigned in the wake of an influence-peddling scandal.

That official, Walter Doering, also stepped down as national vice-president of the party and as Baden-Wuerttemberg state chairman.

FDP head Guido Westerwelle meanwhile dominated tabloid front pages across Germany for a second day Thursday, following disclosure that he is in a gay relationship with a Cologne sports club manager.

"I live my own life," said Westerwelle when asked by reporters about a story in the tabloid Bild, which published a front page photo of him with his alleged partner.

Bild's banner headline was: "Westerwelle loves this man."

Westerwelle, who is 42, took the 36-year-old businessman to a highly public birthday party for the leader of Germany's main opposition CDU last week.

DPA

Subject: German news

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