Germany gets new president

German president-elect Christian Wulff

Chancellor Angela Merkel`s choice for the office of Federal German President was elected today by delegates at a Federal Convention in Berlin after three rounds of balloting.

Asia 728x90

The grueling three-rounds of voting  was only the third time in post-war German history that a presidential election went that far.

With only the most votes needed to clinch the presidency in the third round, Mr Wulff was assured of victory since Merkel`s centre-right coalition has 644 seats in the 1,244-seat electoral college.

He took 625 votes to 494 for his immediate challenger Mr  Gauck.

Rebel votes in the rulling coalition twice deprived Christian Wulff of an outright win against Challenger Joachim Gauck.

After the final vote in the buildings of the Reichstag, Mr Merkel expressed confidence in her candidate.

“Ladies and gentlemen, an eventful day has ended and Christian Wulff is the president of the Federal Republic of Germany,” she said.

“This was our nomination, out of conviction, because we believe that he will represent this country as president in a wonderful way.”

Mr Wulff, the Lower Saxony state governor and a deputy leader of Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, sounded an optimistic note after his election, saying: “I’m looking forward to this responsible position.”

Mr Wulff will succeed Horst Köhler who resigned as president  a month ago.

Political observers saw the protracted election stretching  into nine hours, as a setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her wobbly centre-right coalition government.

The daily Handelsblatt called it a “debacle” and Die Zeit called the result a “humiliation” for the government.

Bild, the mass-circulation daily, said it was a “massive slap for the ruling coalition”.