Published: Feb 17, 2012 11:40 AM EST


BERLIN (AP) - German President Christian Wulff has announced his resignation in a scandal over favors he allegedly received before becoming head of state - creating a new problem for Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
Wulff announced his immediate resignation on Friday, a day after the slow-burning affair escalated dramatically with a request by prosecutors for Parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution.
 
Wulff is stepping down after less than two years in the job. He was Merkel's candidate for the presidency in 2010.
 
His resignation is potentially awkward for her - providing a major domestic distraction as she grapples with the eurozone debt crisis. A successor must be elected by a special parliamentary assembly within 30 days.