The Latest: Germany’s Seehofer to remain interior minister
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the announcement that Germany’s top security official will stay on as interior minister, but give up party post (all times local):
Germany’s top security official Horst Seehofer says he’s stepping down as head of his party but will remain interior minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet.
Seehofer had been reportedly planning on resigning both posts but told reporters that “I am the federal interior minister and will continue to serve in that role.”
Seehofer did confirm that he was planning on resigning as head of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian-only sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democrats. He said he’d announce specifics on timing later in the week.
Seehofer was re-elected as CSU leader in December. However, questions over his leadership were raised after his party’s dismal performance in Bavaria’s September state election.
Germany’s interior ministry is naming a long-time civil servant to head the country’s domestic intelligence agency.
In a statement, the ministry confirmed reports that Thomas Haldenwang would replace outgoing spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen.
The center-left Social Democrats, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, had demanded Maassen’s removal from the BfV spy agency in September after he appeared to downplay far-right violence against migrants in the eastern city of Chemnitz.
Haldenwang joined the interior ministry in 1991, moving to the BfV domestic intelligence agency in 2009. Four years later he became Maassen’s deputy.
The news comes amid reports that Germany’s top security official Horst Seehofer, who frequently clashed with Chancellor Angela Merkel on her migrant policy and other issues, is planning to quit his post. Seehofer, the interior minister, is also expected to relinquish his role as leader of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian-only sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats
Seehofer had backed Maassen, putting him at odds with Merkel and other Cabinet ministers.
Germany’s top security official, who has frequently criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant policy, is reportedly planning to quit his post in government.
German news agency dpa quoted multiple unnamed party officials a
s saying Horst Seehofer told a meeting of the Christian Social Union on Sunday that he plans to relinquish its leadership and his role as interior minister in Merkel’s government.
Seehofer has been blamed for his party’s drop in votes in last month’s Bavaria regional elections. The 69-year-old had taken a hard line against migrants and sparked numerous crises within Merkel’s governing coalition at the federal level.
Dpa reported that Seehofer didn’t give a specific date for his departure. It is unclear who would succeed him as interior minister.