Several German media reported on Friday that German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht plans to resign.
What do we know so far?
The revelation was first published in a German newspaper Buildwith the Sueddeutsche Zeitung The next newspaper shortly thereafter. Both cited unnamed sources and said she might step down as soon as next week.
However, in the minutes, German government spokesmen responded only tentatively on Friday night by saying that the reports constitute “rumours”, which “we do not comment on”.
The news comes on the heels of a highly criticized New Year’s Eve message she posted on social media. During the message, Lambrecht mentions the war in Ukraine with fireworks still playing in the background.
Members of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) criticized the letter as deafening and urged her to step down.
Lambrecht belongs to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD). Schulz said he still had faith in Lambrecht after the highly criticized video.
Lamprecht is no stranger to scandal
Lambrecht also came under fire in May after it was reported that she had allowed her 21-year-old son to fly in a Bundeswehr helicopter to the famous northern German island of Sylt.
As defense minister, she has also been at the forefront of many ongoing controversies and criticisms in 2022 regarding the military equipment Germany is sending to Ukraine, and the difficulties the German military is facing at home.
If Friday’s reports ultimately prove true, Lambrecht will be the most senior member of Schulz’s cabinet to resign.
The two names being touted as potential successors are both the Social Democrats, such as Lambrecht – and the alternative would have to be maintaining a coalition balance between the three ruling parties, which include the business-focused Free Democrats and greens.
Both work in roles related to Lambrecht. One is the parliamentary special commissioner for the German army, Eva Högel, and the other is Simtje Müller, a junior minister in Lambrecht’s team.
wd/msh (Reuters, dpa)
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