Second Term for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier?

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a press conference at Bellevue Palace. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa


Broad backing hints at German President Steinmeier being set for Second Term

By Martina Herzog and Jörg Blank, dpa

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

Steinmeier is a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) – the largest party in the coalition – but has also received the support of the Free Democrats (FDP) and, on Tuesday, the Greens.

The largest opposition grouping in parliament, the conservative alliance of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU), are likely to support a second term for Steinmeier too, dpa has learned.

The president of Germany serves as the country’s head of state and must sign legislation into law, but the post is otherwise largely ceremonial and diplomatic.

“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 that was also signed by other senior party figures.

CDU leaders have also expressed satisfaction with Steinmeier, dpa learned from party sources ahead of a videoconference of CDU and CSU leaders set for Wednesday.

Steinmeier, who is turning 66 this week, can therefore expect to be re-elected on February 13 at the so-called Bundesversammlung or Federal Convention, an event convened every five years solely to elect the German president.

The Federal Convention comprises members of the Bundestag and representatives from Germany’s 16 federal states, totalling some 1,472 people.

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