Law­mak­ers elect new pres­i­dent

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

BER­LIN | A far-reach­ing ma­jor­ity of law­mak­ers elected for­mer East Ger­man pro-democ­racy ac­tivist Joachim Gauck as Ger­many’s new pres­i­dent Sun­day.

The 72-year-old Mr. Gauck, who en­joyed the back­ing of most ma­jor par­ties, re­ceived 991 of the 1,232 bal­lots cast, par­lia­men­tary speaker Nor­bert Lam­mert said.

The ex-com­mu­nist Left Party’s can­di­date Beate Klars­feld se­cured 126 votes, the far right Na­tional Demo­cratic Party’s can­di­date Olaf Rose only three, and there were 108 ab­sten­tions.

Mr. Gauck is a for­mer pas­tor who op­posed East Ger­many’s com­mu­nist regime and be­came head of a fed­eral agency over­see­ing the files of the com­mu­nists’ ubiq­ui­tous do­mes­tic in­tel­li­gence ser­vice af­ter Ger­many’s re­uni­fi­ca­tion in 1990.

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