Germany’s parliament elected Angela Merkel as chancellor for a third term Tuesday, ending nearly three months of uncertainty since elections that forced her to seek a ‘grand coalition’ with her rivals. Merkel, 59, who is now set to govern Europe’s top economy for another four years, was re-elected by 462 members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, with 150 voting against and nine abstentions. “I accept the election result and thank you for your trust,” said Merkel, dressed in a black trouser suit, having accepted a bunch of flowers before shaking the hands of supporters. Eighty-six days after she swept to victory in general elections but failed to grab an outright majority, the Bundestag vote, although secret, came as no surprise.
With 504 of the 631 seats, Merkel’s conservatives and their new centre-left partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), hold a huge majority under their hard-fought ‘grand coalition’ deal.
She must now be confirmed by President Joachim Gauck at his palace before returning to the Bundestag to be sworn in at around noon as Germany’s only third post-war chancellor to win a third mandate.
The ceremony and later swearing-in of ministers followed by the first cabinet meeting will enable Merkel to finally get back down to business in earnest after the longest government-building period since World War II.
Full Article: German MPs elect Merkel as chancellor for third term.