Angela Merkel begins fourth term as German Chancellor

Written by on March 14, 2018

Angela Merkel has finally begun her fourth term as Chancellor after almost six months of political deadlock in Germany.

Ms Merkel is due to be sworn on Wednesday.

Parliament voted 364 to 315 in a secret ballot to re-elect Ms Merkel, who ran unopposed.

Germany has been locked in political uncertainty for almost six months after millions of voters abandoned the two main parties.

Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany party (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) were dropped by the public in favour of parties on the left and right.

A coalition has been formed between the CDU, the Christian Social Union (CSU) – which is the CDU’s Bavaria-only sister party – and the centre-left Social Democrats.

The group hold 399 of the 709 seats in parliament.

Wednesday’s parliamentary vote came 171 days after the election, nearly double the previous record.

An attempt at a three-way alliance with two smaller parties collapsed last November.

The German Cabinet has changed dramatically as a result of the coalition, with new faces in the most important posts, including finance, foreign and interior ministries.

The coalition has been formed with the inclusion of a clause that intends to force a review of the government’s progress after two years. At that point, either member of the alliance can quit the coalition if it is felt their party’s reforms are not being implemented.

The ability to balance the competing demands will rest on the Chancellor’s shoulders.

Ms Merkel is known affectionately in Gemany as ‘Mutti’, meaning Mum.

However, her popularity has been rocked by her open-door policy on migration, which saw an influx of more than one million people. She came further under fire for failing to convince the electorate she understood the extent of the public’s concern in this controversial area.

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