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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected to 2nd term

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected to a second term by a parliamentary assembly on Sunday.

The 66-year-old politician successfully garnered support from across the democratic political spectrum, including the left-liberal coalition government and the conservative opposition parties.

In the first round of voting, Steinmeier got 1,045 of 1,425 valid votes by members of the Federal Assembly, which is made up of 736 lawmakers and an equal number of delegates from Germany’s federal states.

Steinmeier is widely seen as one of Germany’s most experienced politicians. The prominent Social Democrat politician served twice as foreign minister, in 2005-2009 and later in 2013-2016, in coalition governments led by then-Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The presidential position is regarded largely as a ceremonial role that carries few powers. It is often held by a senior politician who is seen as a unifying figure and an important moral compass for Germans in times of political and economic uncertainty.

The vote came amid some 100,000 Russian troops amassed on the borders of Ukraine, with Germany and other Western nations working to avoid what the US has warned could be an imminent invasion.