BERLIN Feb 17 Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies
on Monday chose defence expert Christian Schmidt to replace the
agriculture minister who quit the German chancellor's cabinet
after leaking information about a lawmaker being investigated
for possessing child pornography.
Schmidt comes from the Christian Social Union (CSU), the
Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrats, as does
Hans-Peter Friedrich, who was forced to resign last Friday for
leaking information to the SPD when he was interior minister.
German head of state Joachim Gauck will swear in the new
minister later on Monday, the president's office said.
Schmidt, 56, was a deputy defence minister from 2005 to the
end of last year, when he was named deputy development minister
in the new coalition government between the conservatives and
the Social Democrats (SPD).