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Resignation of Federal President Christian Wulff

Federal President Wulff and his wife Bettina Wulff in Schloss Bellevue Schloss Bellevue, 17 February 2012 Federal President Wulff and his wife Bettina Wulff in Schloss Bellevue © Ole Krünkelfeld

Ladies and gentlemen,
esteemed citizens,

I was happy to accept my election as Federal President and to devote all my energies to the performance of my presidential duties.

Working for a more cohesive society has been something very close to my heart. It is vital that everyone who lives, trains, studies and works here in Germany should feel they belong, regardless of their roots. We are building our future together.

It is my firm belief that Germany can best develop its economic and societal potential and make a positive contribution to European integration by making a success also of integration here at home.

Our country, the Federal Republic of Germany, needs a president who can devote himself fully to these and other national tasks as well as the immense challenges on the international agenda. A president who is supported by the trust placed in him not just by a majority but by a broad majority of our citizens. The developments of the past few days have shown that this trust and hence my scope to make a difference have been permanently compromised. For this reason it is no longer possible for me to perform my presidential duties at home and abroad in the required manner.

I therefore resign today from the office of Federal President, so making the way free for the matter of my successor to be speedily addressed.

In the interim my duties will be assumed by Bundesrat President Horst Seehofer. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak at the important memorial ceremony next Thursday for the victims of right-wing extremist violence.

As far as the upcoming legal investigations are concerned, I am convinced they will completely exonerate me. My conduct in the offices I have held has always been legally correct. I have made mistakes, but at all times I have been honest and straightforward. The news coverage my wife and I have experienced over the past two months has been hurtful.

I thank all those citizens who contribute to our country’s welfare. I thank the staff of the Office of the Federal President and other government bodies, whom I have found to be excellent teams.

I thank my family. Above all I thank my wife, whom I see as a convincing representative of a humane and modern Germany. She has at all times – especially in recent months – been a tremendous support to me and the children.

What I hope for our country is a political culture in which people perceive democracy as something of infinite value that – most importantly in my view – inspires above all their enthusiasm and active participation.

I wish all my fellow citizens a bright future, my good wishes accompany each and every one of you.