The FDP leader Theodor Heuss, who was nominated by CDU/CSU and FDP because of an accord in the coalition agreement, was elected by the Federal Convention (composed of all federal MPs and an equal number of delegates selected by the state legislatures).
Under the 1949 Basic Law, the new office of the Federal President was given less powers than the preceding office of Reich President, due to the bad experiences of the past, especially the abuse of emergency powers. Heuss therefore assumed a largerly ceremonial role. However, his duties included the nomination of the first Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. Federal President Heuss took the oath of office in front of Bundestag and Bundesrat the day following his election, on September 13, 1949.