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Encyclopedia > President of Germany
President of Germany
Incumbent:
Horst Köhler
First president:
Theodor Heuss
Formation:
September 13, 1949
Germany

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Germany
Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1184x1500, 155 KB) Description: IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler License: Source: http://www. ... Horst Köhler ( , born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ... Theodor Heuss (January 31, 1884 - December 12, 1963) was a German politician. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Coat_of_Arms_of_Germany. ... Politics of Germany takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Federal Chancellor is the head of government, and of a plurality multi-party system. ...



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The President of Germany is Germany's head of state. The Bundesrat (federal council) is the representation of the 16 Federal States (Länder) of Germany at the federal level. ... Type Lower house President of the Bundestag Dr. Norbert Lammert, CDU since October 18, 2005 Members 614 Political groups Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union of Bavaria Bloc (226) Social Democratic Party of Germany (222) Free Democratic Party (61) The Left. ... The Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) is a special body in the institutional system of Germany, convoked only for the purpose of selecting the Bundespräsident every five years. ... The Bundesverfassungsgericht The Federal Constitutional Court (in German: Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) is a special court established by the German constitutional document, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). ... The Bundesgerichtshof or BGH (German for federal court) is the highest Germany for civil and criminal lawsuits. ... Horst Köhler ( , born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ... The head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (German: Kanzler). ...   (IPA: ) (née Angela Dorothea Kasner, 17 July 1954, in Hamburg, Germany), is the Chancellor of Germany. ... The Cabinet of Germany (German: Bundeskabinett, Bundesregierung) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ... There are 439 German districts (Kreise), administrative units in Germany. ... Elections in Germany gives information on election and election results in Germany, including elections to the Federal Diet (the lower house of the federal parliament), the Landtage of the various states, and local elections. ... This is a list of political parties in Germany. ... This article is about the human rights situation in the Federal Republic of Germany. ... The Federal Republic of Germany is a Central European country and member of the European Union, Group of 8 and NATO (among others). ... The European Union or EU is a supranational and international organization of 27 member states. ... Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... For the comedy film of the same name, see Head of State (film). ...


After the abdication of the German Emperor in 1918 and the promulgation of the Weimar Constitution, the President of Germany (in German: Reichspräsident, i.e. President of the Realm) was Head of State in Germany. The office was abolished in 1934 with the death of President Hindenburg and only briefly revived at the end of the war. Kaiser is a German title meaning emperor, derived from the Roman title of Caesar, as is the Slavic title of Czar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The Weimar Constitution in booklet form. ... The Presidential Palace (Reichspräsidentenpalais) in Berlin. ... Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German field marshal and statesman. ...


With the promulgation of the new German Constitution in 1949 the office of President (in German: Bundespräsident, i.e. President of the Federation or Federal President) was recreated.


The modern President of Germany is elected by a specially convened body called the Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) to serve a five-year term.[1][2] In accordance with Germany's parliamentary system of government, the presidency is limited by a mixture of law and convention to being a ceremonial position. The Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) is a special body in the institutional system of Germany, convoked only for the purpose of selecting the Bundespräsident every five years. ... States currently utilizing parliamentary systems are denoted in red and orange—the former being constitutional monarchies where authority is vested in a parliament, and the latter being parliamentary republics whose parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state. ... A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. ...


The President is, by tradition, a unifying presence and usually takes great care to steer clear of day-to-day politics. For that very reason, on rare occasions when the President does take a stand on a contemporary issue, he can expect to attract considerable attention and, if carefully crafted, his expressed viewpoint can carry great moral weight.


The first official residence of the President is the Bellevue Palace in Berlin. The President's second official residence is the Hammerschmidt Villa, in Bonn. The current office-holder is Horst Köhler, elected in 2004. Schloss Bellevue Bellevue Palace (German: Schloss Bellevue) is a château north of the Tiergarten park in Berlin. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Villa Hammerschmidt Villa Hammerschmidt became the official residence of the German President in 1951. ... Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. ... Horst Köhler ( , born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Weimar period

I want a cheese pizza with the Weimar Republic of 1919-1933 the head of state had the German title Reichspräsident. This literally means 'President of the Reich' (reich is an ambiguous German word that roughly means 'country' or 'realm'). However in English he was usually simply referred to, like the modern president, as the President of Germany. The Weimar constitution created a semi-presidential system in which power was divided between the President, a cabinet and a parliament. The President enjoyed far greater power than the current president and had active political role, rather than a largely ceremonial one. The influence of the President also increased greatly as a result of the instability of the Weimar period. The Presidential Palace (Reichspräsidentenpalais) in Berlin. ... Anthem Das Lied der Deutschen Germany during the Weimar period, with the Free State of Prussia (in blue) as the largest state Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1918-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann(first)  - 1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last) Legislature... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the German word Reich, and in particular to its historical and political implications. ... The Weimar Constitution in booklet form. ... States with semi-presidential systems are shown in yellow The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a prime minister and a president are both active participants in the day-to-day functioning of the administration of a country. ...


The President had authority to appoint any Chancellor he wished and could dismiss the entire cabinet at any time. However it was also necessary for the cabinet to enjoy the confidence of the Reichstag (parliament) because it could be removed by a vote of no confidence.[3] All bills had to receive the signature of the president to become law and, although he did not have an absolute veto on legislation, he could insist that a law be submitted for the approval of voters in a referendum. The president also had authority to dissolve the Reichstag, conduct foreign affairs, and command the armed forces. Article 48 of the constitution also provided the president sweeping powers in the event of a crisis. If there was a threat to "public order and security" he could legislate by decree and suspend civil rights. The Reichstag (German for Imperial Diet) was the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, the North German Confederation, and of Germany until 1945. ... A Motion of No Confidence, also called Motion of Non Confidence is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A referendum (plural referendums or referenda), ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita, originally a decree of the Concilium Plebis) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ...


Unlike the current President of Germany, the Weimar constitution provided that the president was directly elected and served a seven year term. The election involved a form of the two round system. However the first President was elected by the National Assembly and subsequently only two direct presidential elections actually occurred. These were the election of Paul von Hindenburg in 1925 and his re-election in 1932. An example of runoff voting. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The system created by the Weimar constitution led to a number of problems. In particular, the fact that the President could appoint the cabinet, while the Reichstag had only a power of dismissal, created a high cabinet turn-over as ministers were appointed by the President only to be dismissed by the Reichstag shortly afterwards. Eventually Hindenburg stopped trying to appoint cabinets that enjoyed the confidence of the Reichstag and ruled by means of three "presidential cabinets" (Präsidialkabinetten). Hindenburg was also able to use his power of dissolution to by-pass the Reichstag. If the Reichstag threatened to censure his ministers or revoke one of his decrees he could simply dissolve the body and be left able to govern without its interference until elections had been held.


The Weimar presidency effectively came to an end in 1934 when Hindenburg died and Hitler became sole ruler of Germany. The office of president was not abolished, but combined with that of Reich Chancellor and Nazi Party Leader (Führer).[4] The National Socialist German Workers Party, (German: , or NSDAP, commonly known as the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. ...


However the title of Reichspräsident was briefly revived in the dying days of the Nazi regime when Admiral Karl Dönitz was appointed in Hitler's will as Reichspräsident in 1945. The legality of this appointment is highly questionable, but Dönitz acted as de facto Reichspräsident by signing the capitulation to the Allies. He was arrested for war crimes a few days later. Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ...


List of Presidents (Reichspräsident)

No. Name Took office Left office Party
1. Friedrich Ebert 11 February 1919 28 February 1925 SPD
Hans Luther (acting) 28 February 1925 12 March 1925 None
Walter Simons (acting) 12 March 1925 12 May 1925 None
2. Paul von Hindenburg 12 May 1925 2 August 1934 None
3. formal Vacancy (Adolf Hitler was head of state but used the titles Führer und Reichskanzler 2 August 1934 30 April 1945 NSDAP
4. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz 1 May 1945 23 May 1945 None (military)

This is not the Friedrich Ebert involved in the founding of the GDR, but rather his father. ... is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... SPD redirects here. ... Hans Luther (10 March 1885–11 May 1962) was a German politician and former Chancellor of Germany. ... is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Walter Simons (1861 - 1937) was a German political figure. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German field marshal and statesman. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hotels, motels, inns, apartments, or business suites could have vacancies, i. ... Hitler redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Adolf Hitler. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Nazi swastika The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ... German Grand Admiral Sleeve Insignia Grand Admiral Shoulder Insignia In the German Navy the rank of Grand Admiral (Großadmiral) was considered the highest Naval rank. ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Selection

Federal Convention

The modern President is elected by secret ballot, without debate, by the Federal Convention, a body established solely for that purpose. The convention consists of all Bundestag members as well as an equal number of delegates chosen by the legislatures of the Länder (states). The delegates of each Land to the Federal Convention are elected by the members of the legislature of that jurisdiction under a form of proportional representation. However it is not required that Land delegates themselves be members of a legislature; often esteemed local citizens are chosen. The Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) is a special body in the institutional system of Germany, convoked only for the purpose of selecting the Bundespräsident every five years. ... Type Lower house President of the Bundestag Dr. Norbert Lammert, CDU since October 18, 2005 Members 614 Political groups Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union of Bavaria Bloc (226) Social Democratic Party of Germany (222) Free Democratic Party (61) The Left. ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ... A legislatureis a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to ratify laws. ... Proportional representation (sometimes referred to as full representation, or PR), is a category of electoral formula aiming at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). ...


In total, the Federal Convention numbers more than one thousand people. The German constitution, the Basic Law, requires that it be convened no later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of office of the President. In practice it is convened every five years (in all years with year numbers ending in "4" or "9") on 23 May, the date of the foundation of the Federal Republic in 1949. The body is convened and chaired by the President of the Bundestag. The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution of modern Germany. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The President of the Bundestag (German: Präsident des Deutschen Bundestages or Bundestagspräsident) presides over the sessions of the Bundestag, the parliament of Germany, with functions similar to that of a speaker in other countries. ...


The Federal Convention attempts to elect a president by an absolute majority of votes cast. If, after two votes, no single candidate has received this level of support, in the third and final vote the candidate endorsed by a plurality of votes cast is deemed elected. The process of electing the President is usually determined by party politics, the office being in the gift of whichever party, or group of allied parties, can muster a majority in the convention. The authors of the Basic Law chose an indirect form of presidential election because they believed it would produce a head of state who was widely acceptable and yet at the same time insulated from public pressure and lacking in sufficient popular legitimacy to undermine other institutions of government. For the use of the term in political theory, see Pluralism (political theory). ...


Qualifications

The office of President is open to all Germans who are entitled to vote in Bundestag elections and have reached the age of forty, but no one may serve more than two five year terms. The president receives an annual payment of approximately €213,000 that continues when he or she leaves office.


The President may not be a member of the government or of a legislature at either the federal or Land level. On taking office the president must take the following oath, stipulated by Article 56 of the Basic Law, before the assembled members of the Bundestag and Bundesrat (however he or she is permitted to omit the religious references if so desired): The Bundesrat (federal council) is the representation of the 16 Germany at the federal level. ...


I swear that I will dedicate my efforts to the well-being of the German people, enhance their benefits, avert harm from them, uphold and defend the Constitution and the statutes of the Federation, fulfil my duties conscientiously, and do justice to all. So help me God.[5]


Duties and functions

The degree of power actually conferred upon the President by the Basic Law is ambiguous. However, in practice, holders of the office treat it as a ceremonial, non-political one, and act in accordance with the advice and directives of the Federal Government. Unlike many constitutions the Basic Law does not designate the head of state as the commander-in-chief of the military (ceremonially or otherwise). This role is vested in times of peace in the Minister of Defence, going to the Chancellor rather than the President in times of war, by Article 65a.[6] The President carries out the following duties:

  • Appointment of the Federal Government: The President proposes an individual as Chancellor and then, provided they are subsequently elected by the Bundestag, appoints him or her to the office. However the Bundestag is free to disregard the President's proposal and elect another individual to the post, who the President is then obliged to appoint. The President appoints and dismisses the remaining members of the Federal Government "upon the proposal of the Chancellor". The President can dismiss the Chancellor but only in the event that the Bundestag passes a Constructive Vote of No Confidence.[7]. If this occurs the President must dismiss the chancellor and appoint the successor requested by the Bundestag.[8]
  • Other appointments: The President appoints federal judges, federal civil servants and military officers. All such appointments require the counter-signature of either the chancellor or the relevant cabinet minister.[9]
  • Dissolution of the Bundestag: In the event that the Bundestag elects an individual for the office of chancellor by a plurality of votes, rather than a majority, the President can, at his discretion, either appoint that individual as chancellor or dissolve the Bundestag. In the event that a vote of confidence is defeated in the Bundestag the President may dissolve the body within 21 days, but only on a proposal from the incumbent chancellor. So far, this power has only been applied three times in the history of the Federal Republic. In all three occurrences it is doubtful whether the motives for that dissolution were in accordance with the constitution's intentions. Each time the incumbent chancellor called for the vote of confidence with the stated intention of being defeated, in order to be able to call for new elections before the end of their regular term. The most recent occurrence was on 1 July 2005, when Chancellor Gerhard Schröder asked for a vote of confidence, which was defeated.[10]
  • Promulgation of the law: All federal laws must, after counter-signature, be signed by the president before they can come into effect. Ordinances must be signed by the agency which issues them, and then by the President.[11] Upon signing, the President has to check if the law was passed according to the order mandated by the constitution and/or if the content of the law is constitutional. If not, he has the right (and, some argue, the duty) to refuse to sign the law. This has happened only six times.[12] The constitution is not explicit on whether the President can refuse to sign a law merely because he disagrees with its content, i.e. if he has a power of veto, but it is generally held that he does not have such a power. In any case, as of 2007 no President has yet refused to sign a law unless he believed the constitution was being violated.
  • Foreign relations: The President takes part in foreign visits and receives foreign dignitaries. He or she also concludes treaties with foreign nations, accredits German diplomats and receives the letters of accreditation of foreign diplomats.
  • Pardons and honours: The President grants pardons if the person concerned had been convicted under federal jurisdiction (which is rare) and confers decorations and honours.
  • State of emergency: In the event of a national crisis, the emergency law reforms of 1968 designate the President as a mediator. If the Bundestag rejects a motion of confidence, but neither the chancellor is dismissed nor the Bundestag is dissolved, the President may, by request of the cabinet, declare a "legislative state of emergency", which is quite different from a conventional state of emergency: If it is declared, during a limited period of time, bills proposed by the cabinet and designated as "urgent", but rejected by the Bundestag, become law nonetheless, if the Bundesrat does pass them. But the legislative state of emergency does not suspend basic human rights nor does it grant the executive branch any exceptional power. As of 2007, such an emergency has never been declared.

The head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (German: Kanzler). ... The Cabinet of Germany (German: Bundeskabinett, Bundesregierung) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... The Constructive Vote of No Confidence (in German: konstruktives Misstrauensvotum) is a specialty of the 1949 German constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... 2007 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see State of emergency (disambiguation). ... 2007 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Impartiality and influence

Standard of the President of Germany

Though usually chosen as the candidate of a political party or parties, the president nonetheless is expected to be non-partisan after assuming office. Every President to date has let his or her party membership rest dormant during his or her term of office. Although the formal powers of the President are limited, the President's role can be quite significant depending on his or her own activities. The very fact that the President usually doesn't interfere with day-to-day politics means that if he or she does choose to speak out on an issue, the event is perceived as one to take note of. There have been a number of occasions when certain presidential speeches have dominated German political debate for a year or more. Image File history File links Standarte_des_Bundespräsidenten. ... Image File history File links Standarte_des_Bundespräsidenten. ...


The role of President is similar in some ways to that of a constitutional monarch found in other European states, with the important difference being that the President is elected, and selected based on his or her distinguished reputation. Other comparisons might be to a court philosopher, or a 'national conscience'. The President is called on to develop, interpret and communicate a long-term view of trends affecting Germany and its role in the world. Formulating such vision calls for reflection about Germany's past. Recent Presidents have been instrumental in getting Germans to constructively confront their history during the Nazi period, for instance. A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges a hereditary or elected monarch as head of state. ...


Reserve powers

There is disagreement about whether Presidents have, in fact, greater constitutional powers than they customarily choose to exercise. Some argue that the Basic Law does not require that the President must follow government directives in all circumstances. It is suggested, for instance, that the President could refuse to sign legislation merely because he disagrees with its content, thus vetoing it, or refuse to approve a cabinet appointment. Because no President has ever attempted to take either of these actions the constitutionality of these points has never been tested.


In the few cases in which a bill was not signed, all presidents have claimed that the bill in question was manifestly unconstitutional. In the autumn of 2006, incumbent President Köhler did so twice within three months. Also, in some cases, a president has signed a law whilst asking that the political parties refer the case to the Federal Constitutional Court in order to test the law's constitutionality. The most recent case of such an occurrence was the controversial 'passing' of an immigration law in the Bundesrat in 2003. This law was ultimately declared invalid by the court for reasons of procedure. Horst Köhler ( , born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ... Immigration law refers to national government policies which control the phenomenon of immigration to their country. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Succession

Part of a series on:
Orders of Succession
Presidencies

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United States An order of succession is a formula or algorithm that determines who inherits an office upon the death, resignation, or removal of its current occupant. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, trade unions, universities, and countries. ... The Constitution of the Republic of China gives a short list of persons who will succeed to the presidency if the office of the President of the Republic of China were to become vacant. ...

see also:
Monarchies
Former Monarchies
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The Basic Law did not create an office of vice president. If the President is outside of the country, or the position is vacant, the President of the Bundesrat (this position is rotated among the state premiers on a yearly basis) fills in as temporary, acting president. While doing so he or she does not continue to exercise the role of chair of the Bundesrat. If the President dies, or is removed from office, a successor is elected within thirty days. However since the establishment of the office this has never occurred. A vice president is an officer in government or business who is next in rank below a president. ... In Germany, the President of the Bundesrat (German: Bundesratspräsident) is the bodys chairperson or speaker. ...


While the President is abroad on a state visit the President of the Bundesrat does not assume all of his responsibilities but may "deputise" for the President, performing on the President's behalf merely those tasks that require his or her physical presence, such as the signing of documents.


As with many other provisions of the Basic Law, the mechanism for presidential succession was introduced in response to a perceived weakness in the Weimar constitution, under which the Chancellor would act as head of state in the President's absence. This made it easier for Adolf Hitler to combine the two offices of President and Chancellor and make himself dictator. Hitler redirects here. ... A dictator is an authoritarian, often totalitarian ruler (e. ...


List of Presidents (Bundespräsident)

See also: List of German presidents since 1919
No. Photo Name Took office Left office Party¹
1. Theodor Heuss 13 September 1949 12 September 1959 FDP
2. Heinrich Lübke 13 September 1959 30 June 1969 CDU
3. Gustav Heinemann 1 July 1969 30 June 1974 SPD
4. Walter Scheel 1 July 1974 30 June 1979 FDP
5. Karl Carstens 1 July 1979 30 June 1984 CDU
6. Richard von Weizsäcker 1 July 1984 30 June 1994 CDU
7. Roman Herzog 1 July 1994 30 June 1999 CDU
8. Johannes Rau 1 July 1999 30 June 2004 SPD
9. Horst Köhler 1 July 2004 (Incumbent) CDU

¹ Note that even though the President usually has been member of a party prior to his term of office, the German Basic Law requests in Article 55 that the Federal President does not hold another office, practice a profession or hold a membership of any corporation. Accordingly every Federal President has let his party membership rest dormant and does not participate in the proceedings of any political party during his term of office. A number of presidential offices have existed in Germany since the abolition of the imperial monarchy in 1918. ... Image File history File links Theodor_Heuss. ... Theodor Heuss (January 31, 1884 - December 12, 1963) was a German politician. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Free Democratic Party (German: Freie Demokratische Partei; FDP) is a liberal political party in Germany. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Heinrich Lübke (October 14, 1894 – April 6, 1972) was President of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1959 to 1969. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (number) 1969 (movie) 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Gustav_Heinemann. ... Gustav Walter Heinemann (July 23, 1899 - July 7, 1976) was a German politician. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (number) 1969 (movie) 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Walter Scheel (born July 8, 1919) is a German politician (FDP). ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Karl Carstens (December 14, 1914 - May 30, 1992) was a German politician. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Dr. Richard Freiherr von Weizsäcker â–¶ (help· info) (born April 15, 1920) is a German politician (CDU). ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Image File history File links Roman-Herzog. ... Roman Herzog (born April 5, 1934) is a German politician (CDU) and was the President of Germany from 1994 to 1999. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 452 × 600 pixels Full resolution (772 × 1024 pixel, file size: 170 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Johannes Rau President of Germany... Johannes Rau (January 16, 1931, Wuppertal – January 27, 2006, Berlin) was a German politician of the SPD. He was the eighth President of the Federal Republic of Germany from July 1, 1999 until June 30, 2004 and prime minister of North Rhine Westfalia from 1978 to 1998. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1184x1500, 155 KB) Description: IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler License: Source: http://www. ... Horst Köhler ( , born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Impeachment and removal

While in office the President enjoys immunity from prosecution and cannot be voted out of office or recalled. The only mechanism for removing the President is impeachment by the Bundestag or Bundesrat for willfully violating German law. Once the Bundestag impeaches the President the Federal Constitutional Court is charged with determining if he or she is guilty of the offence. If the charge is sustained the court has authority to remove the President from office. To date no President has ever been impeached. The Bundesrat (federal council) is the representation of the 16 Federal States (Länder) of Germany at the federal level. ...


History since 1934

The Hammerschmidt Villa, the sole official residence of the President until 1994. Today it is his second official residence.

As noted above, the office of Bundespräsident was preceded by the office of Reichspräsident that existed during the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic and was briefly revived in 1945. After the death of Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler, who had previously been appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg in 1933, solidified his hold on power by merging the offices of Chancellor and President to form a new office of Führer und Reichskanzler ("Leader and Chancellor"), as part of the process of Gleichschaltung. After Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, days before World War II formally ended in Germany, the title of Reichspräsident was revived and held by Karl Dönitz, until the end of World War II in Europe. Image File history File links Villa_Hammerschmidt_1_ph. ... Image File history File links Villa_Hammerschmidt_1_ph. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Leader redirects here. ... For other uses, see Chancellor (disambiguation). ... The German word Gleichschaltung â’½ â’¾ (literally synchronising, synchronization) is used in a political sense to describe the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control over the individual, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... During the Battle for Berlin, the Red Flag was raised over the Reichstag, May 1945. ...


During the first four years of Allied occupation of Germany there was no active German president or head of state (de jure, Dönitz however may be considered the president). When the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was created from the western occupied territory in 1949 Theodor Heuss was chosen as the first holder of a new position called the Bundespräsident or "Federal President". This presidency had a largely figurehead status. Its role was like that of the Weimar presidency until about 1929. However the new presidency had clarified and much more limited constitutional powers. Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Forecastle with figurehead Grand Turk Figurehead is a carved wooden decoration, often female or bestiary, found at the prow of ships of the 16th to the 19th century. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


When the territory of the East Germany was reunited with West Germany in 1990, the whole country began to operate under what had previously been the West German constitution of 1949, and since then the President has been the president of all of Germany. In 1994, as part of the movement of Germany's seat of government from Bonn to Berlin, the president's official residence was moved from the Hammerschmidt Villa, in Bonn, to its current location at the Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. This article is about the state which existed from 1949 to 1990. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ...


German Democratic Republic

From 1949 until his death in 1960, Wilhelm Pieck was the first and only President of the German Democratic Republic. Wilhelm Pieck (January 3, 1876 - September 7, 1960) was a German communist, politician and president of East Germany. ... This article is about the state which existed from 1949 to 1990. ...


See also

The President of Germany (Bundespräsident) is the titular head of state of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... This article is about the 1990 German reunification. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, trade unions, universities, and countries. ... Politics of Germany takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Federal Chancellor is the head of government, and of a plurality multi-party system. ... This is a list of heads of state, government leaders, and other rulers in any given year. ... This is a list of state leaders, showing heads of state and heads of government where different, mainly in parliamentary systems; it should be noted that often a leader is both in presidential systems or dictatorships. ...

References

  1. ^ (2005) Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Berlin: Deutscher Bundestag - Verwaltung, Article 54.1. 
  2. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 54.2. 
  3. ^ The Constitution of the German Federation of August 11, 1919. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
  4. ^ (1 August 1934) Reichgesetzblatt part I. Berlin: Reich Government, p. 747. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
  5. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 56. 
  6. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 65a inserted by 7th Amendment (19.3.56), changed by 17th Amendment (24.6.68). 
  7. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 67. 
  8. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 67. 
  9. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 60.1. 
  10. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Articles 67 and 68. 
  11. ^ Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Article 82. 
  12. ^ Wolfgang Rudzio (2006). Das politische System der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 296. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Official website
  • Germany: Heads of State: 1949-2005


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