24 May 2009

German president re-elected

5:25 am on 24 May 2009

President Horst Koehler of Germany has been re-elected by the federal assembly for a second five-year term.

He was backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and their conservative allies.

The victory in the first round of voting is seen as a boost for them ahead of parliamentary elections in September.

The BBC reports the post of president is largely ceremonial but carries considerable moral authority.

Mr Koehler, 66, is a former head of the International Monetary Fund

At a special parliamentary assembly in the Reichstag, he won 613 votes to achieve a slim majority. The next candidate won 503 votes.