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Stoiber staves off leadership challenge

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Stoiber staves off leadership challenge

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The Bavarian premier, Edmund Stoiber, has fought off a challenge to his party leadership. After more than ten hours of talks, the Christian Social Union has decided to keep him in office at least until September when the parliamentary group will meet to decide who leads it into next year’s state elections.

Stoiber thanked his party for the vote of confidence and said he “made clear his intention to continue as head beyond next year.” Until a month ago, it was considered a foregone conclusion that Stoiber, 65, would run next year for re-election as head of the rich southern state. But his popularity has plummeted and he has faced calls to resign since it emerged that one of his top aides pried into the private life of Gabriele Pauli, a fierce critic of the CSU party.