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The Bundespräsident fiasco

By Tom Levine   April 2004

Germany’s presidential mess

British monarchists can take heart from the mess that the Federal Republic has recently got into over electing a new head of state – ending up, it seems, with the third choice candidate.

The story so far. Back in February the current Bundespräsident Johannes Rau called it a day after realising that the political configuration of the federal convention (assembled specifically for the purpose of electing or re-electing the president every five years) was not going to give him a second term.

Rau, an old SPD stalwart with a gravelly voice, is a more self-righteous,…

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