1979 West German presidential election

← 1974 23 May 1979 1984 →
Nominee Karl Carstens Annemarie Renger
Electoral vote 528 431

President before election

Walter Scheel

Elected President

Karl Carstens

An indirect presidential election (officially the 7th Federal Convention) was held in West Germany on 23 May 1979. Deeming his reelection to be unlikely, incumbent Walter Scheel elected not to seek a second term. The two candidates to replace him were the President of the Bundestag Karl Carstens, nominated by the Christian Democratic Union and Carstens' immediate predecessor Annemarie Renger, nominated by the Social Democratic Party. Carstens won the election on the first ballot.

Composition of the Federal Convention

The President is elected by the Federal Convention consisting of all the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of delegates representing the states. These are divided proportionally by population to each state, and each state's delegation is divided among the political parties represented in its parliament so as to reflect the partisan proportions in the parliament.

By Party By State
Party Members State Members
CDU/CSU 531 Bundestag 518
SPD 438 Baden-Württemberg 75
FDP 66 Bavaria 92
Independents 1 Berlin 16
Total 1036 Bremen 6
Hamburg 14
Hesse 46
Lower Saxony 63
North Rhine-Westphalia 143
Rhineland-Palatinate 31
Saarland 9
Schleswig-Holstein 23
Total 1036

Source: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlass der Wahl des Bundespräsidenten am 18. März 2012


Candidate Parties Votes %
Karl Carstens CDU/CSU 528 51.0
Annemarie Renger SPD 431 41.6
Abstentions 72 6.9
Invalid votes 1 0.1
Not present 4 0.4
Total 1,036 100
Source Bundestag