The incumbent President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was re-elected for a second 5-year term. The vast majority of the members of the Federal Assembly voted for him.
A special constitutional body met to elect the country’s president, out of 1,472 delegates, 1,045 voted for Steinmeier. This did not come as a surprise – his candidacy was initially supported by almost all major parties.
The President of Germany performs primarily representative functions. The government, headed by the chancellor, deals with both domestic and foreign policy. The newly elected president addressed a statement to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin:
“Loosen the noose around the neck of Ukraine, look with us for a path that will keep peace in Europe. One can debate for a long time about the reasons for the growing alienation between Russia and the West. But the following is beyond discussion: we are in the midst of a possible military conflict, a war in Eastern Europe. Russia is responsible for this.”
Olaf Scholz, head of the German cabinet, noted:
“Frank-Walter Steinmeier has already shown in the past that he can speak directly to citizens, ensuring the cohesion of our society as well as giving direction. And we now need leadership because of the difficulties that we are experiencing today regarding the coronavirus pandemic and, of course, about security in Europe.”
Steinmeier previously headed the German Foreign Ministry, in the first and third coalition cabinets of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Analysts believe that, due to the growing polarization of German society, it will be more difficult for Steinmeier to fulfill the role of mediator and moderator during his second term.