Thursday, 1 July 2010

A president nobody knows - and no one wants

It was hard labour, but in the end the Germans got a new president. It took three rounds of voting until the Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung consisting of all members of the Bundestag, and a corresponding number of representatives from the federal states), fulfilled Chancellor Angela Merkel’s wish and agreed on Christian Wulff as the republic’s new president.

Though Christian Democrats and Liberals, who have been in a coalition government since October 2009, had a solid 21-majority in the Federal Convention, in the first round only 600 of the government’s 644 electors chose to cast a vote in favour of Christian Wulff, when an overall majority of 623 was required. In the second round his share improved slightly to 615.

In the third round, when the absolute majority was no longer required, Wulff got his ticket to the Bellevue Palace by managing 625 votes.

A disaster for the republican system corrupted by Angela Merkel, whose previous candidate Horst Köhler had just run out of office.

The new president has been so unknown to foreign correspondents, that the Spanish RTVE evening news reported on the selection’s result showing not the victorious Christian Wulff, but the oppositions candidate Joachim Gauck, obviously in the belief that he was the one who won the ballot. Such an embarrassing glitch could never happen with a new Monarch. The heir(s) to the throne are well known.

1 comment:

Hansbaer said...

Well, a monarch would not be shown at all because he does not stand for election.
Being known abroad is not a requirement for the job. Few countries have the commodity of having many well-known personalities who would make a decent head of state. Therefore the main requirement is a non-partisan dignified representative, and post-war Germany has been lucky with its presidents in that matter.

You missed one fact: although it was not necessary anymore, 625 votes actually was an absolute majority.