dglobalnews.com Germany elects 'anti-Trump' Steinmeier as new president
Published: Tue, February 14, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Germany elects 'anti-Trump' Steinmeier as new president

The day after Mr. Trump's surprise election victory, Ms. Merkel issued a couched warning that offered the new US president German cooperation based on joint values, including democracy, respect for the rule of law and for human dignity "independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views".

Although the post is largely ceremonial, past German presidents have used the role to act as a moral authority in debates of national and global importance. He will take over from Joachim Gauck, a 77-year-old East German pro-democracy activist who did not seek a second term.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has sent greetings to Frank-Walter Steinmeier who was elected President of Germany, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

He received 931 of the 1,260 votes.

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Steinmeier will assume the post of president in March.

Steinmeier ran unsuccessfully as a chancellor candidate against Merkel of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the federal election in 2009, and returned to the opposition benches as head of the Social Democrats' parliamentary group.

In his acceptance speech, Steinmeier said that Germany should be an "anchor of hope" at a time when democratic institutions were under threat across the world. Schulz will face off against sitting chancellor Angela Merkel, who is running for the CDU/CSU bloc. The Social Democrats hope to thwart Merkel's fourth bid in the vote as the coalition partners have announced that they want to finally end the so-called grand coalition. He will serve a five-year term in the largely ceremonial post.

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