Rau, Johannes

Johannes Rau

b. 16 Jan 1931, Wuppertal-Barmen, German Reich
d. 27 Jan 2006, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany

Title: Bundespräsident (Federal President)
Term: 1 Jul 1999 - 30 Jun 2004
Chronology: 23 May 1999, elected, session of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly), Plenarsaal, Reichstagsgebäude, Berlin [1]
  1 Jul 1999, took an oath of office as Federal President, joint session of the Bundestag and Bundesrat, Plenarsaal, Plenargebäude des Bundestages, Bonn [2]
  30 Jun 2004, expiration of term
As a young journalist Johannes Rau joined the All-German People's Party (GVP) of Gustav Heinemann in 1952. Two years later he became a member of the editorial board of the "Gesamtdeutsche Rundschau". When the GVP was dissolved, he joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1957. Rau was elected to the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1958. He served as chairman of the SPD's parliamentary caucus in the Landtag (1967-1970), and as minister of science and research (1970-1978), before becoming minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia (20 Sep 1978 - 27 May 1998). During his tenure as minister-president he twice served as the president of the Bundesrat (1982-1983, 1994-1995). Rau was elected deputy chairman of the SPD in 1982 and chancellor-candidate for the 1987 Bundestag election, which, however, brought victory to the Christian Democrats. In early 1990s Rau conceded the party leadership first to Björn Engholm and then to Rudolf Scharping. In 1994, in the 3-round presidential elections Rau lost to the CDU-candidate Roman Herzog. After the SPD became the ruling party in 1998, Rau received sufficient support to win the presidential elections in 1999.
Biographical sources: "Johannes Rau - der Versöhner", by Uwe Birnstein (Berlin: Wichern Verlag, 2006).

Candidate (party) 1st vote (23 May 1999) 2nd vote (23 May 1999)
Johannes Rau (SPD) 657 690
Dagmar Elisabeth Schipanski, geb. Eichhorn (CDU/CSU) 588 572
Uta Johanna Ingrid Ranke-Heinemann, geb. Heinemann (PDS) 69 62
abstentions 17 8
invalid 2 1
total votes cast 1,333 1,333
total votes/absolute majority: 1,338/670 1,338/670
Source of electoral results: Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 14. Wahlperiode, Bd. 196, S. 4364.

[1] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 14. Wahlperiode, Bd. 196, S. 4364.
[2] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages - Stenographische Berichte (Bonn, 1950-1990; Berlin, 1990-), 14. Wahlperiode, Bd. 196, S. 4364.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 03:36:03