Joachim Gauck, a human-rights campaigner and former East German dissident, became president in March 2012.
The opposition Social Democrats and Greens nominated him after the resignation of President Christian Wulff in February over a housing loan scandal, and the governing centre-right coaltion parties agreed to support him.
Mr Gauck stood for the largely ceremonial presidency in 2010, losing to the government's preferred candidate Mr Wulff.
Mr Gauck, like the Christian Democrat chancellor, Angela Merkel, has a background in the Lutheran Church in East Germany - he was a pastor there, as was Mrs Merkel's father.
An active anti-Communist from an early age whose father was exiled to a Soviet forced-labour camp for several years, Mr Gauck was a leader of the opposition New Forum in the last days of the East German dictatorship.
He served in the first and last democratic East German parliament, which put him in charge of investigating the archives of the Stasi secret police.
He continued this task after the reunification of Germany, earning the admiration of all but diehard Communists for his work in exposing the crimes of the Communist era.
Mr Gauck describes himself as a "liberal left conservative", and has expressed support for the policies of both Social-Democrat and Christian-Democrat coalition governments on a non-partisan basis.
In recent years he has concentrated on campaigning against both left and right extremist threats to Germany's democratic system.
Born in Rostock in 1940, Mr Gauck has four children by his wife, from whom he is separated. His partner since 2000 is the journalist Daniela Schadt, who will take on the ceremonial duties of First Lady.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
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- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
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- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
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"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government
"Germany Government Stats, NationMaster." 1971-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government>.
'Germany Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government> [assessed 1971-2014]
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1971-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government>.
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1971-2014.
"Germany Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (assessed 1971-2014)
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (last visited 1971-2014)
"Germany Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Germany/Government (as of 1971-2014)