Stoiber to step down as Bavarian leader

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Stoiber to step down as Bavarian leader

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The Bavarian premier Edmund Stoiber has announced his resignation, a day after winning the backing of his party. Stoiber, 65, will quit as head of the conservative Christian Social Union party which is part of Germany’s ruling grand coalition. A party source says he will step down in September later this year.

Stoiber has seen his popularity plunge since it emerged last month that a top aide pried into the private life of a rival. He had wanted to stay on as head of the rich southern German state until 2013 if he won re-election next year. From his stronghold in Munich, Stoiber has repeatedly tried to block government reform plans, most notably Chancellor Angela Merkel’s much criticised overhaul of the German healthcare system.