Merkel formally re-elected as German chancellor

Poroshenko congratulates Merkel on her re-election as Chancellor of Germany

Poroshenko congratulates Merkel on her re-election as Chancellor of Germany

Merkel will first visit to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at his Berlin residence to be officially nominated before returning to the Bundestag to be sworn in as Chancellor later on Wednesday.

Angela Merkel has been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany after lawmakers voted to re-elect her as leader in a close vote in the early hours of Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Members of Germany's Bundestag voted 364 in favor, 315 opposed and nine abstentions. He added that "many hope we in Germany will show that liberal democracies are capable of acting and facing the future".

Last week party leaders of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) announced that party members had endorsed a deal to form a new governing coalition with Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats.

To quieten the dissent, Merkel has named a sometimes outspoken critic, Jens Spahn, 37, as her new health minister and recently tapped a potential successor, new CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

As the chancellor received standing ovations, handshakes and bouquets of flowers from delegates across the political spectrum, she was watched over by her 89-year-old mother Herlind Kasner, seated on the Bundestag's gallery next to Merkel's long-term adviser Beate Baumann and husband Joachim Sauer. But the Christian Democrats "only turned to the SPD to prolong the "grand coalition" ... out of desperation, after talks on a three-way alliance with two smaller parties collapsed last November", as Reuters describes.

Merkel's CDU/CSU alliance emerged as the largest bloc in parliament following September's federal election, but they failed to secure an absolute majority.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a fellow Social Democrat who over the past year led Germany's response to tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, says Maas will do an "excellent" job.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Angela Merkel on her reelection as the Chancellor of Germany in a telegram, the Kremlin press service reported.

Politicians and observers say that the new coalition is likely to last its full term until 2021, not least because none of the governing parties is keen to face a new election.

The same parties have governed for the past four years but Wednesday's parliamentary vote comes 171 days - almost double the previous record - after September's election, in which they all lost significant ground.

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