Joachim Gauck is elected German president
The former Eastern German pastor and Member of Parliament Joachim Gauck was elected as German president. With him and chancellor Merkel leading the country, Eastern Germans are in the underdog position no more. The 72-year old former pastor was brought up in a protestant household during communism. Merkel and Gauck began their political careers after the fall of the Berlin wall.
Joachim Gauck keeps stressing the important of freedom and the appreciation of freedom. As a former East German rights activist, his father was sent to hard labor camp by the communists and he himself did not get to vote until he was 50 years old.
He received 991 of the 1,232 ballots cast and was elected president Sunday, March 18th.
Gauck addressed the assembly: “I accept this duty. After the long political meanders of the 20th century, I do so with the infinite gratefulness of a person who has finally and unexpectedly found his home again and who had the pleasure of participating in a democratic society over the past 20 years, very certainly I won’t be able to live up to all expectations, but there is one thing I can promise: I say yes with all of my force and with my heart that I will carry out the responsibility you entrusted to me today.”
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