2012 German presidential election

2012 German presidential election

← 201018 March 20122017 →
 President Gauck.jpgBeate Klarsfeld par Claude Truong-Ngoc septembre 2015.jpg
NomineeJoachim GauckBeate Klarsfeld
Home stateMecklenburg-VorpommernBerlin
Electoral vote991126

President before election

Horst Seehofer (Acting)

Elected President

Joachim Gauck

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An early indirect presidential election (officially the 15th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 18 March 2012, the last possible day following the resignation of Christian Wulff as President of Germany on 17 February 2012. Joachim Gauck was elected on the first ballot by a Federal Convention, consisting of the 620 members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members selected by the states of Germany based on proportional representation.[1][2][3][4]

On 19 February 2012, Joachim Gauck was nominated as the joint presidential candidate of the governing coalition (CDU, CSU, and FDP) and the opposition (SPD and Greens).[5] He also had the support of the Free Voters and the South Schleswig Voter Federation.


In December 2011, allegations emerged concerning Christian Wulff’s former ties with affluent businessmen. While he was still Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Wulff denied having had any business ties with Egon Geerkens, despite having received a private home loan of about €500,000 from Egon's wife Edith in 2008 and which Geerkens had admitted arranging.[6] On 22 December 2011, Wulff made a public statement apologizing for his handling of the loan affair and conceded that he should have made his personal records available more quickly.[7]

Later, it was alleged that President Wulff had applied undue pressure to Springer Press to delay or even prevent initial revelations of the loan scandal.[8] By the beginning of January 2012, President Wulff had already lost public support, commentators were calling for him to resign, the opposition was again increasing pressure, and his own party was distancing itself from him over the allegations.[9]

On 4 January 2012, Wulff said in an interview that he wanted to stay in office and that the call to Bild editor Kai Diekmann had been a "serious mistake" that was "unworthy" of a president and for which he had already apologized.[10][11]

As more allegations of possible corruption emerged, the prosecutors in Hanover, the capital city of the state of Lower Saxony, asked the Bundestag to lift Wulff’s presidential immunity in order to investigate the possible granting or accepting of undue favors.[12] Pre-empting this, Wulff resigned on 17 February 2012,[13] explaining that the loss of the people's trust had damaged his effectiveness.