On 7 November 1989 the GDR’s government resigned. It remained in office according to article 50 of the constitution until a new government could take over. The outgoing government of Willi Stoph had been largely the creature of the Politburo led by Honecker. On the following day the SED’s Central Committee elected a new Politburo and confirmed Krenz as General Secretary. The Volkskammer only came into session on 13 Novem ber. It elected, for the first time, a non-SED member, Gunther Maleuda, Chairman of the Democratic Farmers5 Party (DBD), as President of the Volkskammer, replacing Horst Sindermann of the SED. Surprisingly, there were five candidates for the Presidency. The Volkskammer broke new ground by holding a secret ballot. Also surprisingly, Maleuda, always a tame SED creature, beat Manfred Gerlach (LDPD), who had spoken up recently in criticism of his SED friends, by 246 votes to 230.