| Christian Wulff |
|Born||19 June 1959|
|Alma mater||University of Osnabrück|
|Spouse|| • Christiane Vogt|
• Bettina Körner
|Member of||Atlantik-Brücke, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1995|
|Party||Christian Democratic Union|
Christian Wilhelm Walter Wulff is a retired German politician and lawyer who served as President of Germany from 2010 to 2012. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), he previously served as minister-president of the state of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2010. He was elected to the presidency in the 30 June 2010 presidential election, defeating opposition candidate Joachim Gauck With the age of 51, he became Germany's youngest president.
On 17 February 2012, Wulff resigned as President of Germany, facing the prospect of prosecution for allegations of corruption relating to his prior service as Minister-President of Lower Saxony.
He was selected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1995. He was a member of the transatlantic deep state influence network Atlantik-Brücke.
Since 1975, Wulff has been a member of the CDU. From 1978 to 1980, he served as federal chairman of the Schülerunion, a political high school student organization affiliated with the Christian Democrats. From 1979 to 1983, he was on the executive board of the Junge Union and became its state chairman in Lower Saxony in 1983. However, he decided to resign from the board in order to pursue his law degree, which he completed in 1986. The same year, he was elected a city councillor in his hometown. Since 1984, he sat on the CDU's state party council of Lower Saxony, serving as its chairman from 1994 to 2008.
The Christian Democrats made Wulff candidate for Minister President of the state in the run-up of the 1994 parliamentary election. However, the popular incumbent Gerhard Schröder won an absolute majority in the Lower Saxony legislature, while the state CDU under Wulff received one of its worst results, leading some observers to doubt the wisdom of the provincial party nominating a young and neophyte candidate for Premier. After four years in opposition, the 1998 legislative assembly election brought another opportunity for Wulff to become Minister President. Indeed, the federal Christian Democrat party, led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, pinned their hopes on Wulff – a Wulff victory would have stopped the inevitable rise of Schröder to the Social Democrat nomination for Chancellor. However, supported by a wave of sympathy for his potential candidacy for chancellor in the 1998 federal election, Schröder was returned to power by an enhanced majority – leaving Wulff to serve five more years as state leader of the opposition.
Schröder won the 1998 federal election, leaving the post of Minister President to his anointed successor, Interior minister Gerhard Glogowski. The latter soon stumbled over a scandal involving free travel paid by TUI and was succeeded by young parliamentary leader Sigmar Gabriel.
Wulff had been one of the four deputy chairmen of the CDU party at the federal level after 7 November 1998, and had been a board member of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation after 2003.
2003 state election
With Lower Saxony announcing deeper cuts of education and municipal services, the stage was set for the 2003 election campaign. Wulff entered the race as the favourite to win the election and essentially campaigned on a platform of fiscal restraint and clear-cut reforms in the areas of law enforcement and education. Both issues were decisive in the elections that led to a change in fortunes for the two major parties. The Christian Democrats, in the political wilderness since the 1990 Schröder victory, were returned to power with an absolute majority in the state parliament, gaining 48.3% of the vote. Wulff was sworn in as Minister-President on 4 March 2003, as the head of a coalition between centre-right Christian Democrats and liberal Free Democrats (FDP).
As Minister-President of Lower Saxony, Wulff pursued a multitude of reforms, including a restructuring of the primary education system in the state, as well as an increase of police officers on the beat. When Wulff took office, Lower Saxony faced a severe budget crisis, resulting from years of public deficits. Painful cuts to public expenditure were enacted and implemented against considerable political resistance. The measures included cuts in university funding and in benefits for the blind. Other policies concern the reform of the administration (especially the abolition of certain district authorities). Budgetary problems continued to overshadow Wulff's policies, albeit with somewhat less pressure. Many measures have remained controversial.
Prior to the 2005 federal election, Wulff was mentioned as a potential candidate for the federal chancellorship. In a spring 2005 poll, 28% of all respondents named Wulff as their preferred candidate for the Christian Democratic nomination for Chancellor. As Wulff had only began his first term as Minister-President of Lower Saxony in early 2003, he largely dismissed such speculations. Speculation had particularly increased since the December 2004 Christian Democratic federal convention in Düsseldorf, when Wulff was reelected deputy leader of the federal party with roughly 86% of all delegates supporting him. However, the premature dissolution of the Bundestag in 2005 and the subsequent election of Chancellor Angela Merkel largely put an end to further speculation about Wulff's future at the time.
Wulff and the 2005 federal elections
Due to his popularity in Lower Saxony, and in federal opinion polls, Wulff was considered to be a contender for the office of Chancellor.
After the 23 May announcement that federal elections were to be advanced to September 2005, Wulff announced that he was not a candidate for the Christian Democrat nomination for Chancellor, particularly as he had not completed his first term as Minister-President of Lower Saxony. Instead, Wulff declared his support for CDU party and parliamentary leader Angela Merkel. Although there was speculation that Wulff would be given a position in the new government, entering federal politics, he remained Minister-President of Lower Saxony.
President of Germany
Wulff was elected President of Germany on 30 June 2010 to follow Horst Köhler, who had resigned on 31 May 2010. He won 625 of 1,242 votes on the third ballot of the Federal Convention. He became Germany's youngest president at the age of 51 and was sworn in on 2 July 2010 in front of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.
His main contender in the election was Joachim Gauck, a civil rights activist from East Germany and former Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records. Not a member of any party himself, Gauck was nominated by the opposition SPD and Greens as their presidential candidate on 3 June.
Wulff was succeeded as Minister-President of Lower Saxony by David McAllister. Wulff's candidacy for President of Germany in the 2010 presidential election was formally confirmed by Angela Merkel, Guido Westerwelle and Horst Seehofer, the heads of the governing CDU, FDP and CSU parties, during the evening of 3 June 2010.
In August 2011, President Wulff opened an economists' conference with a speech on the euro. He criticised the European Central Bank (ECB), which had entered a second round of bond buy-ups from heavily indebted euro-zone nations, calling the plan to stabilise the euro "legally and politically questionable".
Scandals, resignation and final acquittal
In December 2011, German media reported allegations that Wulff had deceived the Parliament of Lower Saxony in February 2010, during an inquiry into his connections as Minister President of Lower Saxony with a number of affluent businessmen. In particular, there were a number of questions concerning the purchase of a house, for which Wulff accepted a loan from an entrepreneur family with whom he was friends. In this context, Wulff tried to influence the media coverage in the run-up to the breaking of the scandal. Additional investigations were launched into Wulff's political dealing with various entrepreneurs with whom he and his family spent their private vacations. Since it was not clear who had paid for these holidays, Wulff was subsequently accused of favoritism and unethical behavior. After the district attorney's office in Hanover had requested the lifting of his immunity on 16 February 2012, Wulff then resigned as German President the following day. On 27 February 2014, two years after his resignation, Wulff was acquitted of all corruption charges by the Hanover regional court.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20050421181559/http://www.n24.de/politik/inland/index.php/a2004120109373045486 |date=21 April 2005
- www.bundespraesident.de Archived 29 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Bundespräsidialamt, Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit. Retrieved 1 July 2010.