Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

German Parliament Confirms Chancellor Merkel For Fourth Term

German Parliament Confirms Chancellor Merkel For Fourth Term

Angela Merkel is officially re-elected as the German Chancellor with the majority of lawmakers in the lower parliament backing her candidacy in a vote on Wednesday.

364 of 709 lawmakers voted to have Merkel reelected, against 315 voting against and 9 abstentions.

German chancellor Angela Merkel receives her certificate of appointment from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier after being re-elected as chancellor, during a ceremony at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, March 14, 2018.

The Social Democrats initially planned to go into opposition after crashing to their worst result since World War II, but Germany's president nudged them into a reluctant about-turn after Merkel's talks with two smaller parties collapsed in November.

The conservative has stamped her mark on Germany's political centre ground with a pragmatic approach and willingness to adopt liberal competitors' ideas, and has often reassured Germans by convincing them that she is on top of complicated crises. Later in the day, the new government ministers are also expected to be sworn in before the cabinet meets for the first time this afternoon. That significantly complicated the task of forming another governing coalition.

Her Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) and Social Democratic Party reached an agreement last month to form another "grand coalition" government, after a months-long post-election stalemate.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel was sworn in for her fourth term on Wednesday after serving only as caretaker leader since an election last fall.

His new interior super-ministry also covers "Heimat" or homeland affairs, a term much derided for evoking Alpine vistas, beer and bratwurst but meant to recapture claims to patriotism from the AfD.

The SPD only agreed to ally with Merkel after promising a list of distinctive policies to secure the approval of party members, many of whom wanted the SPD to regroup in opposition after the last four years in coalition damaged its standing among voters.

"It is a good start for Germany to have a stable government. after so many months, there is now a big incentive to get down to work with energy", Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

AfD politicians have campaigned strongly against Merkel and her policies.

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