Germany's ex- finance minister to challenge Merkel in 2013 election: report

     Germany's opposite party Social Democrats (SPD) will nominate former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in the national election next year, a German newspaper reported on Friday. Steinbrueck, who run the finance ministry during Merkel's first term from 2005 to 2009, has won support from SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel. The official nomination is set to be made at a meeting of SPD executives next Monday, reported Bild, citing party sources. Another two potential candidates, Gabriel himself and leader of SPD's parliamentary group Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had quit the contest. According to a poll launched by Emnid for German N24 television, 59 percent of people believe Steinbrueck would be competent for being Chancellor and 49 percent of the respondents think he is "sympathetic." Besides, 45 percent of people regard the 65-year-old former finance minister's political spectrum as a "conservative" one. A previous poll showed that Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won more support than its opposition SPD. Merkel will compete for her third term in next year's election, and has expressed her super confidence to win.

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