German politicians prepare for presidential election

Posted February 14, 2017

He was elected Germany's 12th post-war head of state by securing 931 of the 1,253 votes available in the special federal assembly of Bundestag MPs and federal state delegates.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has sent greetings to Frank-Walter Steinmeier who was elected President of Germany, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

Mr Steinmeier has said that he will focus on visiting "left behind" communities around Germany in the coming weeks.

Though the Germany president has a little political or policymaking power, the position is considered an important moral authority.

Mr. Steinmeier had strongly criticized Donald Trump during the US election campaign.

Merkel, once uncontested as Germany's most popular politician, has recently struggled against criticism over her refugee policy, including from her own party.

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Reports on Saturday said Steinmeier, who past year called Trump one of the world's "hate preachers", topped the list of favorites for the Sunday election.

Steinmeier will enter office as German president on March 19.

Before the vote, Steinmeier said he would, if elected, work to counter a heightened sense of insecurity in today's society. "I don't want to sugarcoat anything".

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Steinmeier.

Since Mr Schulz took over the candidacy in late January, the SPD has risen sharply in the opinion polls. He returned to the Foreign Ministry when Ms. Merkel formed another so-called grand coalition with the SPD in 2013. Two main parties in the coalition hold 923 seats in the assembly, which should assure Steinmeier's election.