BERLIN, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- German President Christian Wulff said Friday he is resigning amid a scandal over alleged improper ties to businessmen.
The move came after prosecutors asked Parliament to strip him of his immunity from prosecution, The New York Times reported.
The country, Wulff told reporters, needs a president who has the trust of the people.
"Events of the past days and weeks have shown that this trust, and with it my ability to work effectively, have been persistently impaired," he said.
"For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad, as required."
In December, news surfaced that as governor of the state of Lower Saxony, Wulff had taken an estimated $650,000 private loan from the wife of an affluent friend.
More recently, Wulff has come under scrutiny over a relationship with a film executive who hosted Wulff on vacations and whose company received loan guarantees from Lower Saxony
Wulff is an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who canceled a visit to Italy Friday to deal with the crisis and was expected to make a statement soon, the BBC said.
On Thursday, prosecutors released a statement saying, "The Hanover prosecutor's office now has sufficient factual indications and therefore initial suspicions of the acceptance of favors" and requested the president of the German Bundestag to lift the president's immunity.