German president Christian Wulff resigned from his position Friday due to increasing criticism over corruption allegations.
Wulff reportedly announced his decision saying it was no longer possible for him to continue with his job since it required full dedication. The troubled head of state resigned a day after prosecutors had asked the parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution.
I am ... today stepping down from the office of federal president to free up the way quickly for a successor, Wulff was quoted as saying in a televised statement from his Bellevue presidential palace.
Wulff was the second German President to quit in less than two years, forcing Chancellor Angela Merkel to look for a new candidate with cross- party support for the largely ceremonial post, Bloomberg reported.
The 52-year-old was a former deputy leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party and was selected by the chancellor to replace the earlier president, Horst Koehler, after his surprise resignation in May 2010.
Developments in the past days and weeks have shown that this confidence and my ability to act are lastingly damaged, Wulff told reporters. For this reason, it is no longer possible to carry out the office of president both domestically and abroad the way it needs to be done. I have made mistakes, but I was always honest.
Merkel, who was about to leave for Rome to hold talks with Italian prime minister Mario Monti, canceled her trip and regretted Wulff's departure in a brief statement. During his time in office, Christian Wulff worked with all his energy for a modern, open Germany, Al Jazeera quoted Merkel as saying.
He made it clear to us that the strength of this country lays in its diversity. It's a strength of this country and the rule of law here that everybody is treated the same, she added.
Wulff was accused of offensively accepting benefits during his tenure as governor of Lower Saxony state. Allegations have been made against him since mid-December largely because of his connections to wealthy businessmen, and also due to a profitable home loan from a friend's wife.
He was also accused of trying to cover up everything, including reports of free holidays accepted from friends.