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German Left taps TV detective candidate

Oct. 15, 2008 at 12:12 PM

BERLIN, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Germany's Left Party has nominated television actor Peter Sodann for the country's presidency in a bid to raise its profile, political analysts say.

Although he has little chance of winning, the presence of the TV detective -- star of the cult hit crime drama "Tatort" -- could give a boost to the Left Party at a time when it is seen making inroads into political territory now held by the fractured Social Democrats, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday.

Deutsche Welle said German political analysts believe Sodann's presence on the ballot, with incumbent president Horst Koehler and Social Democratic challenger Gesine Schwan, could benefit the Left Party with name recognition.

Sodann's TV character, Kommissar Ehrlicher, is a fan favorite and the former East German actor has some political experience. Deutsche Welle says he served nine months of a two-year sentence in the 1960s after being arrested by East Germany's communist regime for directing a "counter-revolutionary" student theater.

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