Pastor elected German prez

Anti-communist pastor Joachim Gauck was elected German president by an overwhelming majority on Sunday, marking the first time a candidate from the former communist east will be head of state.

Gauck, 72, claimed 991 votes out of 1,232 from a special assembly of MPs and other dignitaries, parliamentary speaker Norbert Lammert said, against prominent Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld, 73, who was nominated as a protest candidate by the far-left party Die Linke.

“What a beautiful Sunday,” Gauck said to enthusiastic applause from the chamber of the glass-domed Reichstag parliament building in central Berlin after the vote. It was the third presidential election in three years for Germany after the abrupt resignations of Gauck’s two predecessors.

Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her backing to the plain-spoken Lutheran pastor in February after then president Christian Wulff stepped down.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry