Berlin’s openly gay mayor re-elected for a third term

BERLIN — The mayor of the German capital city has been reelected for a third term. Klaus Wowereit, who became the first openly gay leader elected to a German political state office winning his first term as Berlin’s mayor in 2001, is known for his populist style of leadership favored by the city’s citizens.

Klaus Wowereit

Officials noted that the election turnout was at just over 60 percent of Berlin’s approximately 2.5 million eligible voters.

Wowereit has been mentioned as a possible contender as the Social Democrats Party’s candidate for the chancellorship in 2013 running against current Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered another round of Germany wide electoral setbacks during this election cycle.

With the financial crisis in the European Union mounting, Merkel’s leadership of the German state during the current global recessionary economic climate is under attack. Germany is Europe’s strongest economy making her the single most important political leader in the European Union.

Critics charge that Merkel’s focus has been protecting her political standing inside Germany, rather than taking bold, risk-taking actions to rescue the EU currency zone. However, that would mean sinking more German money into an ever-deepening economic union that German voters have thus far shown an antipathy for.

Wowereit, an outspoken critic of the Merkel led coalition government, stated that a partnership with the Greens Party might be possible, saying it was “important that they come out in favor of politics that favor development, progress, and change rather than a stalemate.”

The SPD and Greens have pledged support for boosting the euro zone bailout fund for countries like Greece in a crucial vote in parliament vote on September 29, when Chancellor Merkel may face a revolt from more eurosceptic members of the current coalition.

“I am happy to have given the national party a tailwind,” said Wowereit Sunday, as he celebrated winning a third five-year term with a 28.2 percent share of the vote.

“In Germany’s states we want to establish the foundations to unseat this unspeakable coalition, and form a Social Democratic government to the benefit of all Germans,” he said.

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