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West Germany's electoral college returned Richard von Weizsaecker to the largely ceremonial post of president Tuesday for a second five-year term.

The re-election of the 69-year-old baron, who was unopposed, coincided with celebrations marking the 40th the anniversary of the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany on May 23, 1949.West Germany became a sovereign republic in 1949 with the approval of the United States, Britain and France - the Western powers that occupied the country since the end of World War II in 1945.

Parliamentary Speaker Rita Suessmuth said Tuesday the anniversary of the republic "reminds us that we are still living in a divided country and are a divided people," referring to the separate state of East Germany.

A total of 881 of the 1,038 electoral college delegates voted in favor of Weizsaecker, a member of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Union, taking on a second five-year term as president.

The functions of the West German president - the head of state - are largely of a representational nature.