Schroeder gives up German parliament seat

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder gave up his seat in parliament today, completing his exit from day-to-day politics after seven years as German leader.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder gave up his seat in parliament today, completing his exit from day-to-day politics after seven years as German leader.

Schroeder, who handed over to new Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, signed a declaration giving up his seat in the presence of parliament speaker Norbert Lammert, a parliamentary spokeswoman said.

Schroeder’s mandate will officially run out at midnight tonight, spokeswoman Baerbel Schubert said.

Schroeder, who told Social Democrat colleagues on Monday of his intention to withdraw, declined to serve as Merkel’s deputy after her conservatives narrowly won September elections. The Social Democrats have joined Merkel’s coalition.

Schroeder, 61, has rejected suggestions that he could pick up company directorships, saying instead that he would like to return to his roots as a lawyer and plans to write a book about his turbulent years in government with the environmentalist Greens.

He has said he would like to remain involved in politics, but only in the arms-length style of Social Democrat grandees such as 79-year-old former party chairman Hans-Jochen Vogel.

Schroeder was a member of the federal parliament, or Bundestag, from 1980 until 1986 and against since his victory over conservative Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1998.

Kohl hung on as an MP until 2002.

Schroeder’s seat will be allocated to a colleague on the state list of Social Democrat candidates for the parliamentary election.

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