The assembly that will choose the president is made up of the members of parliament's lower house and an equal number of representatives of Germany's 16 states. The parties in Scholz's coalition will have a majority, though not a huge one. The center-right bloc's backing removes any risk of Steinmeier facing a serious challenge.
Steinmeier announced that he would seek a second term in May, months before the parliamentary election that brought Scholz’s coalition to power. Although his chances of reelection looked far from certain at the time, he said he wanted to help heal divisions widened by the coronavirus pandemic.
Before becoming president, Steinmeier served twice as Merkel’s foreign minister. He was previously Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief of staff.
Germany’s president has little executive power, but is considered an important moral authority. After a messy parliamentary election result in 2017, Steinmeier helped prod politicians to form a new coalition government rather than holding out for a new vote.