Schroeder wins crucial vote on armed forces rep

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 April 2005, BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder won a crucial parliamentary vote on Thursday - which sceptics had warned he could lose over his controversial choice of a conscientious objector as the chamber's armed forces commissioner.

14 April 2005

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder won a crucial parliamentary vote on Thursday - which sceptics had warned he could lose over his controversial choice of a conscientious objector as the chamber's armed forces commissioner.

Schroeder's candidate, Reinhold Robbe, was elected with 307 votes - well over the required majority of 301 votes.

The Chancellor's Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens rallied around their leader despite lukewarm support for Robbe whose candidacy drew controversy given that he refused to do military service during the 1970s.

Robbe, who is 50, says this was due to the Cold War and the fact that he could not imagine being called to fight against former communist East Germany.

Today, insists Robbe, he would be willing to serve in the German military.

Parliament's armed forces commissioner reports to the chamber on conditions and problems faced by soldiers and the Bundeswehr, Germany's combined armed forces.

Losing the vote on Robbe would have pitched Schroeder's government into crisis in the run-up to next year's general election.

DPA

Subject: German news

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