West German presidential election, 1949

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West German presidential election, 1949
12 September 1949 1954 →
  Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1983-098-20a, Heuss.jpg K.Schumacher.jpg Rudolf Amelunxen - Ausschnitt aus Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F001946-0009, Berlin, Bundesversammlung wählt Bundespräsident.jpg
Nominee Theodor Heuss Kurt Schumacher Rudolf Amelunxen
Party FDP SPD Centre
Electoral vote 416 312 30
Percentage 51.7% 38.8 3.7

Elected President

Theodor Heuss

The election of the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany was held on 12 September 1949, following the first Bundestag election of August 14, 1949 and coalition talks/ negotiations between CDU/CSU, FDP and German Party (DP).

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.

12 September 1949
Ballot Canditate Voters  % Party
1. Ballot Theodor Heuss 377 46.9% FDP
Kurt Schumacher 311 38.7% SPD
Rudolf Amelunxen 28 3.5% Zentrum
Hans Schlange-Schöningen 6 0.7% CDU
Karl Arnold 1 0.1% CDU
Josef Müller 1 0.1% CSU
Alfred Loritz 1 0.1% WAV
Abstention 76 9.5%
Invalid 2 0.2%
2. ballot Theodor Heuss 416 51.7% FDP
Kurt Schumacher 312 38.8% SPD
Rudolf Amelunxen 30 3.7% Zentrum
Hans Schlange-Schöningen 2 0.2% CDU
Abstention 37 4.6%
Invalid 3 0.4%