An overwhelming majority of German parliamentary assembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier to become the country’s next president. Steinmeier was a former foreign minister who strongly criticized Donald Trump during the U.S. election campaign, he also criticized those who make politics with fear after being asked about the rise of right-wing populism in Germany and elsewhere.
Mr. Steinmeier cited nationalist Alternative for Germany party, the renowned promoters of Britain’s exit from the European Union as he also pointed out to President Trump, branding him a hate preacher. According to the daily Berliner Morgenpost, Mr. Steinmeier is an anti-Trump president. He got elected with a 931 of 1,260 votes. Despite having little executive power, the German president is considered an important moral authority.
During his acceptance speech, Mr. Steinmeier emphasized that it’s important for Germans to be brave and not to be afraid of the future, adding that the world faces rough times but Germany, as a functioning democracy has the responsibility to fight for stability. Stenmeier also said that it’s wonderful that Germany has become an anchor of hope in the world for many, having overcome war and totalitarianism.
Mr. Steinmeier was also congratulated by Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that she was convinced that he would be an excellent President who would have the support of the vast majority of people.
President Vladimir Putin congratulated Mr. Steinmeier and also invited him to Russia. Putin expressed his confidence that Mr. Steinmeier’s work as President of Germany will promote the Russia-Germany relations, in line with reinforcing stability and security on the European continent and globally. Other world leaders such as Boris Johnson also tweeted their congratulations.
Steinmeier has been a Social Democrat who's had the support of Ms. Merkel’s grand coalition of centre-right and centre-left parties. Having served twice as foreign Minister under Ms. Merkel, from 2005-2009 and a second term from 2013 until this year, he’s been one of Germany’s most popular politicians. Steinmeier also played a huge role in trying to resolve the long-running crisis in Ukraine. He’ll succeed Joachim Gauck, who was a 77-year-old pastor and East German pro-democracy activist.