German President Steinmeier set for second term

January 4, 2022
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a press conference at Bellevue Palace.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is set for a second term in office after receiving backing from all three parties in the country’s governing coalition.

Himself from the Social Democrats (SPD) – the largest party in the coalition – Steinmeier also received the support of the Free Democrats (FDP) and, on Tuesday, the Greens.

The president is the official head of state in Germany and must sign legislation for it to be written into law, but he or she – the post has so far only been held by men – otherwise holds a largely ceremonial and diplomatic role.

“Frank-Walter Steinmeier is a very good and highly respected federal president who has rendered a great service to our country during his first term in office,” Green party leaders Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock said in a joint statement on Tuesday also signed by other senior party figures.

Steinmeier, who is turning 66 on Wednesday, can now look ahead to a large gathering of national representatives on February 13 when the president is elected for a five-year term.

The so-called “Bundesversammlung” comprises members of the Bundestag parliament and representatives from Germany’s 16 federal states, totalling some 1,472 people.

Steinmeier is a political veteran, having started his career in politics in the 1990s and since held posts including foreign minister and vice-chancellor in previous governments.

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