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Iranian National Possible Candidate for Germany's Presidential Election.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Navid Kermani is an Iranian national whose name is seen among the next German presidential election candidates.

Kermani, 48, holds a doctorate in Islamic studies and has written novels with special readers. He is a prominent figure in the German society.

There will be at least one key difference between the next German presidential election and the last two: People are going to have a lot more time to speculate about who the candidates will be.

Whereas the 2010 and 2012 elections had to be called quickly after the unexpected resignations of Horst Koehler and Christian Wulff, respectively, Joachim Gauck's Monday announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2017 provides the country with months to mull all its options.

Already, a long list of potential names for the February 12, 2017, election is piling up. Here are some of the names being bandied about.

VOLKER BOUFFIER: Once a fairly right-wing member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), Bouffier, 64, has been quietly and successfully running a coalition with the Green party in the western state of Hesse since 2014.

GERDA HASSELFELDT: A parliamentary leader from the CDU's sister party, the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, she has already hinted she plans to bow out of the Bundestag, where she has gained a reputation for integrity and working across party lines. Hopes that Germany might install its first female president also give the 65-year-old a leg up.

NAVID KERMANI: A German of Iranian background, he would be a long-shot candidate. Kermani, 48, holds a doctorate in Islamic studies, has written novels, widely discussed essays explaining how Muslims perceive Christian society and published travel reports from Middle East war zones.

ANNEGRET KRAMP-KARRENBAUER: Also from the CDU, she is currently premier of the western state of Saarland, but enjoys popularity with the Greens and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD). The 53-year-old is on the left of the CDU and enjoys the advantage of youth.

WINFRIED KRETSCHMANN: The premier of the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg just led the Greens to become the biggest party in the state, underscoring his popularity not just in the state, but across the country. The 68-year-old might be a compromise if the CDU and SPD cannot agree on a candidate.

NORBERT LAMMERT: Lammert, 67, has been the president, or speaker, of the Bundestag, parliament's lower house, since 2005. A move into the presidential palace at Bellevue might be the CDU member's next logical career move. He is widely considered to be smart and good at speaking.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN: The current defence minister makes many short lists for many jobs, including a possible successor to Merkel. Now 57, she was already on the short list for the presidential job in 2010.

WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE: The current finance minister is seen by many as one of the key powers behind the throne of the current government. After an initial rocky relationship with Merkel, the two have seemed to work things out and it is assumed he no longer has any interest in the chancellery. But would the 73-year-old want go give up his powers at finance for the pomp of the presidency?

MARTIN SCHULZ: The current president of the European Parliament is one of the first names that comes up when the conversation turns to whom the SPD will put forward. But his odds are long as his party needs to gather more support from other groups than the CDU and Merkel is not known to be a major fan of Schulz, 60.

FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER: In his second non-consecutive term as foreign minister, the SPD stalwart seems, on many levels, to be a natural candidate for the presidency. He is liked by the citizens, has diplomatic experience and is known for working across party lines. But can the 60-year-old expect a chance at the job?

ANDREAS VOSSKUHLE: The head of the German Constitutional Court was Merkel's favourite back in 2010. At the time, he said he wasn't interested in the job because he had just started his current position two years before. The 52-year-old is affiliated with the SPD, so it's hard to say how the CDU might react if Merkel put him forward.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jun 7, 2016
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