Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Germany Picks Frank-Walter Steinmeier to be President 

"Let's be brave, because then we don't have to be afraid of the future," Steinmeier said in his acceptance speech

German presidential candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier, (L), talks to Christian Democratic party secretary general Peter Tauber, (R), when a German parliamentary assembly came together to elect the country's new president in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, photo: AP/Michael Sohn
6 months ago

BERLIN – A special assembly elected former German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier by an overwhelming majority Sunday to be the country’s new president.

Steinmeier was elected in Berlin by the assembly made up of the 630 members of parliament’s lower house and an equal number of representatives from Germany’s 16 states.

He received 931 of the 1,260 votes. Steinmeier succeeds Joachim Gauck, a 77-year-old former pastor and East German pro-democracy activist who did not seek a second five-year term because of his age.

The German president has little executive power, but is considered an important moral authority and symbol of the country as its host for visiting dignitaries.

“Let’s be brave, because then we don’t have to be afraid of the future,” Steinmeier said in his acceptance speech.

He said the world faces “rough times,” but that Germany, as a functioning democracy, had the responsibility to fight for stability.

“Isn’t it actually wonderful, that this Germany, our difficult fatherland, that this country has become an anchor of hope in the world for many,” after overcoming wars and totalitarianism, Steinmeier said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Steinmeier and said she was convinced he would be an excellent president who would have the support of the vast majority of the people.

“This is a good day for Germany,” Merkel said.

Steinmeier, a 61-year-old Social Democrat, had the backing in the election of Merkel’s “grand coalition” of center-right and center-left parties.

The presidential vote was likely one of the last moments of coalition unity ahead of a parliamentary election in September in which Merkel is seeking a fourth term. Both sides hope to end the “grand coalition.”

A few years ago, Steinmeier took a several-months absence from politics, to donate one of his kidneys to his wife Elke Buedenbende.

Buedenbende, who is a judge, will not work during her time as first lady to avoid possible conflicts of interest.

Steinmeier has long been one of Germany’s most popular politicians. As former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s chief of staff, he was a main architect of Schroeder’s 2003 package of economic reforms and welfare cuts.

Under Merkel, he served twice as foreign minister — from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2013 until this year, with a stint as opposition leader in between.

Steinmeier is normally studiously diplomatic, but he strongly criticized Donald Trump during the U.S. election campaign.

Asked in August about the rise of right-wing populism in Germany and elsewhere, Steinmeier criticized those who “make politics with fear.” He cited the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, the promoters of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and “the hate preachers, like Donald Trump at the moment in the United States.”

KIRSTEN GRIESHABER

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
World

Indonesia Orangutan Sanctuary Says Villa ...

4 hours ago
Business

Apple Kills iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle as M ...

4 hours ago
Sports

Rays Acquire Duda From Mets, Jennings Fr ...

4 hours ago
World

Warming to Worsen Dead Zones, Algae Bloo ...

5 hours ago
Most Popular

Fires Force Evacuation of 12,000 in Thre ...

By The Associated Press
World

Iran Successfully Launches Satellite-Car ...

By The Associated Press
World

French Crews Tame Dramatic Wildfire on M ...

By The Associated Press
World

Indigenous Community Entitled to Unemplo ...

By Notimex
Mexico

House OKs $1.6B Down Payment for Trump's ...

By The Associated Press
World