Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, an openly
gay man, won a third term on Sunday.
The Social Democratic Party of Germany
(Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD), of which Wowereit is
a member, held on to power during the regional elections in Berlin.
However, the party's coalition partner, the socialist Left Party, has
been voted out. A likely partner is the Greens.
Wowereit was first elected mayor of
Germany's largest city in 2001. He came out gay during a convention
of the Berlin SPD. He received thunderous applause when he said:
“I'm gay, and that is good the way it is.” The 57-year-old
Wowereit has said he came out to thwart the plans of the German
tabloids which were already “on the right track.”
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe is also
gay and was first elected in 2001.
Wowereit's strong finish has the media
speculating that he could succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in
“It is easy to underestimate Klaus
Wowereit,” the Financial
Times Deutschland wrote. “He is often discounted as a
mayor who prefers partying to governing … and as a tired state
politician without greater ambitions. Yet he has accomplished
something that not many SPD politicians can lay claim to: He has
managed to attract a majority for the third time in a row. It is now
time for the SPD to ask whether Klaus Wowereit might not make a good
candidate for chancellor.”
Wowereit and neurosurgeon Jorn Kubicki
have been in a relationship since 1993.