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Changeover of Power in Bonn (October 21, 1969)
With votes from the SPD and the FDP, the Social Democrat Gustav Heinemann was elected Federal President on March 5, 1969, defeating the CDU/CSU candidate. Heinemann’s election signaled a new programmatic orientation and a decisive opening-up to the left, a move that was driven by the FDP under the leadership of party chairman Walter Scheel. Heinemann described his election as Federal President as “one piece in the changeover of power.“ After the Bundestag elections on September 28, 1969, the FDP decided to form a coalition with the SPD and, with the election of Willy Brandt as new Federal Chancellor, the changeover was complete. The photograph shows Federal President Gustav Heinemann (left) and Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt, who had just been given his official certificate of appointment by Heinemann in the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn. Photo by Hanns Hubmann.