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German Greens co-leader defends embattled chancellor candidate

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The co-leader of Germany’s Greens on Sunday defended the party’s candidate for chancellor at next month’s federal election, and brushed off suggestions that he should replace her after she made a string of costly mistakes.

The ecologists briefly surged in the polls to overtake Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc after they named Annalena Baerbock as their chancellor candidate in April, but have since waned.

Baerbock’s error-strewn campaign has included mistakes in her resume and a scandal over a Christmas bonus payment that she failed to declare to parliament. Baerbock has also said that sexist scrutiny is holding her back.

“Ms Baerbock is suitable for the office of chancellor, and our task is to ensure that the Greens are strong,” the party’s co-leader, Robert Habeck, told broadcaster ZDF in an interview.

Asked whether the Greens should replace Baerbock with him as their chancellor candidate, Habeck responded: “No, that’s not a debate.”

Adding to the Greens’ woes, the party will be excluded from the ballot in the state of Saarland in the Sept. 26 national election due to irregularities in the selection of regional candidates following internal squabbling.

via Reuters