The Rev. Joachim Gauck, a human rights advocate and social activist, will bring passion to the ceremonial presidency of Europe’s richest country. Photo: Michael Lucas
The son of a Lutheran pastor and an ordained Lutheran pastor himself, the Rev. Joachim Gauck has been elected president of Federal Republic of Germany.
Like Chancellor Angela Merkel-herself the offspring of a clergyman-Gauck, 72, hails from the former Communist satellite of the German Democratic Republic, which he helped to overthrow in 1989.
Described as a liberal conservative, the social activist pastor will become the country’s ninth postwar president, a largely ceremonial position. He is expected to bring charisma, integrity and passion to the office.
The non-partisan Gauck lost an earlier bid to become president in 2010. He now replaces President Christian Wullf, who resigned amid allegations of corruption and financial scandal in an earlier position.