Federal President

Federal President

Federal President

Federal President

- Constitution of Germany

Federal President

Article 54 [Election–Termofoffice]

(1) The Federal President shall be elected by the Federal Convention without debate. Any German who is entitled to vote in Bundestag elections and has attained the age of forty may be elected.

(2) The term of office of the Federal President shall be five years. Re-election for a consecutive term shall be permitted only once.

(3) The Federal Convention shall consist of the Members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the parliamentary assemblies of the Länder on the basis of proportional representation.

(4) The Federal Convention shall meet not later than thirty days before the term of office of the Federal President expires or, in the case of premature termination, not later than thirty days after that date. It shall be convened by the President of the Bundestag.

(5) After the expiry of an electoral term, the period specified in the first sentence of paragraph (4) of this Article shall begin when the Bundestag first convenes.

(6) The person receiving the votes of a majority of the members of the Federal Convention shall be elected. If, after two ballots, no candidate has obtained such a majority, the person who receives the largest number of votes on the next ballot shall be elected.

(7) Details shall be regulated by a federal law.

Article 55[Incompatibilities]

(1) The Federal President may not be a member of the govern­ment or of a legislative body of the Federation or of a Land.

(2) The Federal President may not hold any other salaried office or engage in any trade or profession or belong to the management or supervisory board of any enterprise conducted for profit.

Article 56 [Oath of office]

On assuming his office, the Federal President shall take the following oath before the assembled Members of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat: “I swear that I will dedicate my efforts to the well-being of the German people, promote their welfare, protect them from harm, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, perform my duties conscientiously and do justice to all. So help me God.” The oath may also be taken without religious affirmation.

Article 57[Substitution]

If the Federal President is unable to perform his duties, or if his office falls prematurely vacant, the President of the Bundesrat shall exercise his powers.

Article 58[Countersignature]

Orders and directions of the Federal President shall require for their validity the countersignature of the Federal Chan­cellor or of the competent Federal Minister. This provision shall not apply to the appointment or dismissal of the Feder-al Chancellor, the dissolution of the Bundestag under Article 63, or a request made under paragraph (3) of Article 69.

Article 59[International representation of the Federation]

(1) The Federal President shall represent the Federation in international law. He shall conclude treaties with foreign states on behalf of the Federation. He shall accredit and receive envoys.

(2) Treaties that regulate the political relations of the Federa­tion or relate to subjects of federal legislation shall require the consent or participation, in the form of a federal law, of the bodies responsible in such a case for the enactment of federal law. In the case of executive agreements the provisions concerning the federal administration shall apply, mutatis mutandis.

Article 60[Appointment of civil servants – Pardon – Immunity]

(1) The Federal President shall appoint and dismiss feder­al judges, federal civil servants and commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces, except as may otherwise be provided by a law.

(2) He shall exercise the power to pardon offenders on behalf of the Federation in individual cases.

(3) He may delegate these powers to other authorities.

(4) Paragraphs (2) to (4) of Article 46 shall apply to the Federal President, mutatis mutandis.

Article 61[Impeachment before the Federal Constitutional Court]

(1) The Bundestag or the Bundesrat may impeach the Federal President before the Federal Constitutional Court for wilful violation of this Basic Law or of any other federal law. The motion of impeachment must be supported by at least one quarter of the Members of the Bundestag or one quarter of the votes of the Bundesrat. The decision to impeach shall require a majority of two thirds of the Members of the Bundestag or of two thirds of the votes of the Bundesrat. The case for impeachment shall be presented before the Federal Constitutional Court by a person commissioned by the impeaching body.

(2) If the Federal Constitutional Court finds the Federal Presi­dent guilty of a wilful violation of this Basic Law or of any other federal law, it may declare that he has forfeited his office. After the Federal President has been impeached, the Court may issue an interim order preventing him from exercising his functions.

Basic Law of Germany

Basic Rights
Federation and the Lander
Joint Committee
Composition Rules of procedure
Federal President
Federal Government
Federal Legislation
Execution of Federal Laws
Joint Tasks
State of Defence
Transitional and Concluding Provisions
Constitution Germany Federal President 2022