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THE WEEK AHEAD

BERLIN : A Vote in Germany

May 17, 1994

Germany will elect its first federal president since the reunification of the former East and West Germanys on Monday. Ballots will be cast by 1,324 delegates, marking the first time since 1969 that Berlin's historic Reichstag building has been used for a federal election.

Four candidates are running, and it is expected that the Christian Democratic Union's Roman Herzog, a moderate conservative who currently presides over Germany's constitutional court, will win.

Herzog became the Christian Democrats' candidate after the party's original candidate, Steffen Heitmann, resigned amid criticism of his views on the role of women in society, Germany's World War II past and German nationalism.

The German presidency is a post with little real power but plenty of potential for influence. The current president, Richard von Weizsaecker, has been highly visible in the post. He steps down on June 30 at the end of two terms.

German presidents are elected by a delegation of parliamentarians and private citizens selected at the state level.

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