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Ex-Foreign Minister Steinmeier Chosen As German President

Former German Foreign Minister and newly chosen President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (file photo)

Former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been selected as the nation's new president by a parliamentary assembly.

The 61-year-old Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, was backed in his bid for the largely ceremonial post of president by Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition.

Voting took place on February 12 in a secret ballot among the 1,260-member Federal Convention, comprising lawmakers and leading community figures.

Steinmeier will replace Joachim Gauck, a former East German pastor and human rights activist, who steps down next month as head of state at the end of his five-year term.

Based on reporting by DPA, AFP and AP