The speaker of Germany's parliament says a new president will be elected by lawmakers on June 30.
Speaker Norbert Lammert called the session of a special assembly that elects the head of state Tuesday — one day after the shock resignation of President Horst Koehler. A new president must be elected within 30 days and Lammert arranged the election for the last possible day in that timeframe, The Associated Press says.
Merkel is already battling a euro zone debt crisis, sinking popularity and an increasingly awkward coalition partner.
Now she will have to find a new and successful candidate for president. Her conservatives had backed Koehler for re-election by a special assembly last year. The German President is responsible for signing bills into law but the role is largely ceremonial, NTDTV reports.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.