Horst Koehler re-elected as German president

Horst Koehler on Saturday won a second five-year term as Germany's largely ceremonial president. The result was a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of national elections in September. Parliament President Norbert Lammert said Koehler won 613 votes from a special parliamentary assembly to achieve a slim majority. The 1,224-member assembly comprises lower-house lawmakers and delegates nominated by Germany's 16 state legislatures. The 66-year-old Koehler is a member of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and a former head of the International Monetary Fund. Challenger Gesine Schwan of the center-left Social Democrats won 503 votes. The opposition Left Party's Peter Sodann was backed by 91 delegates and far-right candidate Frank Rennicke by four.