Angela Merkel sworn in for fourth term as German Chancellor
March 14, 2018 06:10 pm
Angela Merkel has been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany after lawmakers voted to re-elect her as leader in a close vote today morning (14).
The vote in parliament ended almost six months of political turmoil after a federal election saw millions of voters desert the two mainstream parties -- Merkel’s CDU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) -- turning instead to parties on the left and right.
In a secret ballot, 364 of the Bundestag’s 709 members voted in favor of Merkel nine more than the 50% required. Thirty-five MPs from the parties governing under Merkel did not vote to re-elect her.
Merkel’s victory marks the final stepping stone on the path to Germany’s new government -- a renewal of the so-called grand coalition (“GroKo”) between the Chancellor’s CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD.
The former leader of the SPD, Martin Schulz, had initially ruled out a new GroKo, pledging to take his party into opposition, but was forced to change his stance after coalition talks between the CDU, Green Party and liberal FDP collapsed in November, raising the possibility of new elections.
After weeks of negotiations, a coalition treaty was produced and later approved by SPD members who voted via postal ballot. But many SPD members and politicians remain unhappy with their party’s involvement in the new coalition.