May 23, 2009 Held


Federal Republic of Germany

Election for Federal President (German Presidency)


Voter Participation

Cast Votes:1,223
Valid Votes:1,211
Invalid Votes:12

Vote Share by Candidate:

Horst KOHLER613


Gesine SCHWAN503

Election Results Modified: Jun 08, 2009

General Information

At stake in this election:

  • The office of President of Germany

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Horst KOEHLER *
  • Head of Government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL
  • Assembly: Germany has a bicameral Parliament (Parlament) consisting of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) with 69 seats and the Federal Diet (Bundestag) with 598 seats.

* The President is elected by a Federal Convention to serve a 5-year term. The Federal Convention includes all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments.

Description of electoral system:

  • The President is elected by indirect vote to serve a 5-year term.
  • In the Federal Council (Bundesrat) 69 members are ex officio by regional legislatures*. In the Federal Diet (Bundestag), 299 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 299 members are allocated by popular vote through a mixed-member proportional system to serve 4-year terms.**

* There are 16 multi-member districts (magnitude ranging from 3 to 6), each of which corresponds to one of the Lander (states). Each state elects a regional assembly, which elects a regional government, a delegation of which represents the Land in the Federal Council.

** Each voter has two votes. In each single-member district, the first vote counts toward the election of a plurality winner. Each Land also represents a multi-member district. The second vote determines outcomes in the MMDs. Within each Land, a party is entitled to a share of seats proportional to its share of second votes. Seats at the MMD/compensatory level are allocated to parties from closed lists to make each party's overall seat share (compensatory seats + SMD seats) proportional to its Land-wide vote share. To qualify for compensatory seats, a party must win either 5 percent of second votes nation-wide or at least 3 SMD seats. Because it is possible for a party to win more SMD seats than its share of second votes otherwise would allow ("overhang mandates"), the size of the compensatory tier can change, and with it the size of the Bundestag.

Main Candidates in the Presidential race:

  • Horst KOHLER
    • Alliance: Christian Democratic Union of Germany/Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CDU/CSU) / Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands/Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern
  • Gesine SCHWAN
    • Party: Social Democratic Party of Germany / Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD)

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 1,224 (July 2009 Members of Federal Convention)
  • Registered Voters: 1,224 (July 2009 Members of Federal Convention)

Gender Data:

·         Female Population: 41,782,248 (2009)

·         Is Germany a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)

·         Has Germany ratified CEDAW: Yes (10 July 1985)

·         Gender Quota: No

·         Female candidates in this election: Yes

·         Number of Female Parliamentarians: 195 (German Bundestag) following the 2005 elections)

·         Human Development Index Position: 6 (2014)

·         Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A

Disability Data:

·         Is Germany a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 March 2007)

·         Has Germany ratified CRPD: Yes (24 February 2009)

·         Population with a disability: 12,285,346 (est.)

Election Modified: Aug 17, 2023

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