Bundesbank president Axel Weber said in an interview released on Saturday he decided he did not want to be a candidate for the European Central Bank presidency because of a lack of acceptance in some European countries.

Weber also told Der Spiegel news magazine that he feared the credibility of the ECB president's office would suffer if he regularly had a minority view on key questions. He said he had taken a clear position in the last year on important decisions.

These positions might not have always been helpful for my acceptance in some governments, Weber said in an advance text. He said that was a key factor as to why he did not want to be a candidate to succeed ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet.

Weber said he sent signals to the German government a few months ago that he had other options and had spoken with Chancellor Angela Merkel about that in January. Since January his decision not to be a candidate had grown firmer, he said.

The German government said on Friday that Weber would step down as head of the Bundesbank a year before his term ends, formally ending his chances of becoming the next ECB president.

The 53-year old Weber, an inflation-fighting monetary hawk, was widely seen as the frontrunner to replace Trichet when his term ends in October.

(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Miral Fahmy)