Germany Elects New President

Joachim Gauck is former Lutheran minister

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 18, 2012 8:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Germany today elected a former anti-Communist pastor as president, with 72-year-old Joachim Gauck receiving 991 of the 1,232 ballots cast, reports the AP. Gauck assumes the largely ceremonial post in the wake of the resignation of Christian Wulff, who quit last month in a scandal over financial favors. He had the backing this time around of Angela Merkel, who previously supported Wulff, though the BBC notes that Gauck's outspoken nature may prove inconvenient to the chancellor.

Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck, right, and his partner  Daniela Schadt arrive at the parliament building Reichstag  in Berlin,, Sunday March 18, 2012. German lawmakers are gathering in Berlin to elect the country's new president.  Candidate Joachim Gauck, a former East German pro-democracy activist, enjoys the support of most major parties...
Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck, right, and his partner Daniela Schadt arrive at the parliament building Reichstag in Berlin,, Sunday March 18, 2012. German lawmakers are gathering in Berlin to...   (Maja Hitij)
Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck, left, and his partner Daniela Schadt sit in the parliament building Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, March 18, 2012. German lawmakers are gathering in Berlin to elect the country's new president. Candidate Joachim Gauck, a former East German pro-democracy activist, enjoys the support of most major...
Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck, left, and his partner Daniela Schadt sit in the parliament building Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, March 18, 2012. German lawmakers are gathering in Berlin...   (Michael Sohn)
Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck , right, and his partner Daniela Schadt arrive at the parliament building Reichstag, Berlin, Sunday, March 18, 2012.
Presidential candidate Joachim Gauck , right, and his partner Daniela Schadt arrive at the parliament building Reichstag, Berlin, Sunday, March 18, 2012.   (Maja Hitij)
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