Harald Ringstorff

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Harald Ringstorff
Harald Ringstorff Jun07.jpg
Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
In office
3 November 1998 – 6 October 2008
Preceded by Bernd Seite
Succeeded by Erwin Sellering
Minister of Justice of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
In office
3 November 1998 – 19 September 2000
Prime Minister Harald Ringstorff
Preceded by Rolf Eggert
Succeeded by Erwin Sellering
Minister of Economics and Affairs of European Union of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
In office
8 December 1994 – 6 May 1996
Prime Minister Bernd Seite
Preceded by Herbert Helmrich (Affairs of European Union)
Conrad-Michael Lehment (Economics)
Succeeded by Rolf Eggert (Affairs of European Union)
Jürgen Seidel (Economics)
Vice Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
In office
8 December 1994 – 6 May 1996
Prime Minister Bernd Seite
Preceded by Klaus Gollert
Succeeded by Hinrich Kuessner
President of Federal Council
In office
1 November 2006 – 31 October 2007
President Horst Köhler
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Peter Harry Carstensen
Succeeded by Ole von Beust
Member of the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Incumbent
Assumed office
26 October 1990
Prime Minister Alfred Gmolka (1990-1992)
Bernd Seite (1992-1998)
Harald Ringstorff (1998-2008)
Erwin Sellering (ab 2008)
Member of Volkskammer
In office
18 March 1990 – 2 October 1990
President Manfred Gerlach
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (acting since 6 April 1990)
Prime Minister Hans Modrow
Lothar de Maizière (since 12 April 2010)
Personal details
Born 25 September 1939
Wittenburg, Mecklenburg
Nationality German
Political party SPD
Harald Ringstorff in April 2008

Harald Ringstorff (born 25 September 1939 in Wittenburg, Mecklenburg) is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and was minister-president of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[1] He headed a coalition government of the SPD and PDS (since 2007 the Left Party, Die Linke) from 1998 until 2006, and subsequently headed a coalition between the SPD and CDU. He was the President of the German Bundesrat, serving for the term 2006/07.

After his Abitur and military service, Ringstorff studied Chemistry at the University of Rostock. He received his Ph.D. in 1969. Afterwards he worked as a chemist for the Rostock dockyards. From 1987 to 1990 he was director of the branch office of the VEB Kali-Chemie ("people's enterprise for potash chemistry").[2]

In 1989 Ringstorff was a founding member of the Social Democratic Party in the GDR and a member of the freely elected Volkskammer of 1990. From 1990 to 2003 he was chairman of the SPD in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[2]

Since 1990 Ringstorff has been a member of the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where he served as parliamentary leader of the SPD from 1990–1994 and 1996-1998. In between he was Minister for Economic and European Affairs and vice-minister-president in a coalition government with the CDU under minister-president Berndt Seite (CDU).[2]

In 1998, the SPD agreed to form a coalition with the PDS (now Left Party), a move controversial within the party. Ringstorff was elected minister-president. His coalition government was re-elected in 2002. After the elections of 2006, he decided to switch to a coalition with the CDU, which would have a more comfortable majority in parliament.

On 6 August 2008 Ringstorff let it be known that he wished to resign as minister-president because of his age. On 6 October he was succeeded in the office by Erwin Sellering.[1][3]

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