Half-Scot becomes German state chief

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A half German, half Scottish MP wrote a small piece of German history Thursday as the first person with dual nationality to become premier of one of the country's 16 states.

David McAllister, 39, from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) conservatives, won election from MPs in the governing coalition in the western state of Lower Saxony, home to some eight million people.

McAllister was born in Berlin in 1971, the son of a British army officer and a German music teacher. The family moved to Lower Saxony in 1982 and he joined the CDU aged 17, becoming an MP in 1998.

The bilingual trained lawyer replaces Christian Wulff, the one-time Merkel rival nominated on Wednesday to the largely ceremonial post of German president after a voting marathon that analysts say was a humiliation for the chancellor.

Lower Saxony, the former fiefdom of ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with Hanover as its capital, controversially holds a blocking minority stake in Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker.

© 2010 AFP

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