Second ballot fails to elect a German president
Germany's federal assembly in Berlin failed Wednesday to elect a new president in two successive ballots, forcing a third ballot to choose a successor to Horst Koehler, who resigned May 31, DPA reported.
The result was a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The federal assembly, a 1,244-member electoral college that only meets to choose the head of state, cast a plurality of 615 votes on the second ballot for Christian Wulff, Chancellor Angela Merkel's nominee. Wulff is premier of Lower Saxony state.
To win, a candidate had to obtain 623 votes, or an absolute majority, on the first or second ballot. A plurality suffices on a third ballot.
In the first ballot, Wulff had won 600 votes to 499 for Joachim Gauck, the main opposition candidate. Gauck's share sank to 490 on the second ballot. A Left Party candidate obtained 126 and 123 votes on the first and second ballot respectively.