Germany (President) 2009
The German Federal Assembly elected the ceremonial President of Germany yesterday. The Federal Assembly is composed of 1,224 members of which 612 are from the Bundestag (lower house, Federal Diet) and the other 612 are from the sixteen German Länder. The members for the Länder are chosen by the respective Landtags and each Länd has a number of seats proportional to its population.
The distribution of seats in the 13th Bundesversammlung is as follows:
CDU+CSU: 497 seats
SPD: 418 seats
FDP: 107 seats
Greens: 95 seats
Left: 90 seats
Free Voters (Bavaria): 10 seats
NPD (Nazis): 3 seats
DVU (Nazis): 1 seats
South Schleswig Voters’ Fed: 1 seats
Independents: 2 seats
Incumbent President Horst Köhler (CDU) was elected in 2004 by the first round, when the CDU-CSU and the FDP controlled a majority of the seats. This year, the CDU-CSU and FDP lost their majority, though the 10 Bavarian Free Voters pledged to support Köhler. The SPD nominated Gesine Schwan, its 2004 candidate, while the Left nominated TV actor Peter Sodann and the two Nazi parties nominated Frank Rennicke.
Köhler was re-elected by the first ballot with 613 votes, which is the majority mark.
Horst Köhler (CDU/CSU/FDP): 613 votes (50.08%)
Gesine Schwan (SPD/Greenies): 503 votes (41.09%)
Peter Sodann (Left): 91 votes (7.43%)
Frank Rennicke (Nazis): 4 votes (0.33%)
Abstaining: 10 votes (0.82%)
Invalid: 2 votes (0.16%)
Absent: 1 vote (0.08%)
This is not really supposed to be a surprise or anything, nor is it anywhere close being a “test” for Angela Merkel and the CDU before the September federal elections. One might count it as a symbolic victory, but even that is streching it.