Westerwelle was a an attorney before he became a politician. From 1994 to 2001 he was secretary general of the German liberal party, the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP). In 2001 he became the leader of the party.
He is also the leader of the FDP parliamentary group and from 1999 to 2005 was head of the opposition in the German Bundestag.
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