Horst Köhler - Biography

Horst Köhler - Biography

Horst Köhler, born 22 February 1943 in Heidenstein, Generalgouvernement, today Skierbieszów, Poland) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union, and the current President of Germany. As the candidate of the two Christian Democratic sister parties, the CDU and the CSU, and the liberal FDP, Köhler was elected to his first five-year term by the Federal Assembly on 23 May 2004 and was subsequently inaugurated on 1 July 2004. He was reelected to a second term on 23 May 2009.

Prior to his election as President, Horst Köhler had had a distinguished career in politics, the civil service and as a banking executive. He was President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1998 to 2000 and head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2000 to 2004.

Although the office of President is less influential than that of the Chancellor, and mostly concerned with ceremonial matters, Horst Köhler has become Germany's most popular politician during his tenure, with record-high approval ratings. He has called for more influence for the President, and has suggested the President should be directly elected again, as was the case under Germany's Weimar Constitution.

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