Muentefering not sure if he will join cabinet

1st November 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 November 2005, BERLIN - Franz Muentefering, who stunned Social Democrats by announcing he will resign, has not decided if he intends to serve as vice-chancellor and labour minister under designated German chancellor Angela Merkel, a party official said Tuesday.

1 November 2005

BERLIN - Franz Muentefering, who stunned Social Democrats by announcing he will resign, has not decided if he intends to serve as vice-chancellor and labour minister under designated German chancellor Angela Merkel, a party official said Tuesday.

"The preconditions for this would first have to be achieved," said Social Democratic Party (SPD) spokesman Lars Kuehn.

Kuehn contradicted Kurt Beck, SPD premier of Rhineland-Palatinate state and deputy SPD leader, who said earlier that Muentefering was willing to serve in the cabinet.

Among Muentefering's conditions are the successful completion of negotiations for a grand coalition between the SPD and Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU), said Kuehn.

This implies that Muentefering will not reveal whether he will serve in the government until the November 14 deadline for clinching an agreement.

Muentefering announced he was quitting as SPD leader on Monday after his candidate for party general secretary was rejected by the SPD's executive committee.

The move pitched the SPD into turmoil and fuelled doubt over whether Merkel will be able to set up a planned grand coalition government of her conservatives with outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's SPD.

DPA

Subject: German news

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