Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

German parliament meets to elect Merkel for 4th term

German parliament meets to elect Merkel for 4th term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel being sworn in for her fourth term at the Bundestag in Berlin today.

Before two police officers brought him down, the man shouted "Please, Mrs. Merkel, help me. Mrs. Merkel help, please".

"I accept the vote", a beaming Merkel, 63, told lawmakers before being sworn in by Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"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", Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

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"Welcome to the new government, but it was about time", President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a ceremony to swear Mrs Merkel and her new ministers into office.

With 399 yes votes out of 709, the country's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag on Wednesday approved the alliance made between Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its allied Christian Social Union (CSU) and a reluctant partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

She will now begin a historic fourth term as Chancellor.

The outcome of the secret ballot suggested 35 lawmakers of her new right-left coalition bloc voted against Merkel, giving her a thin nine-vote margin that opposition parties were quick to label a "rocky start" for a spent and joyless governing alliance.

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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 Free Democratic Party collapsed in November, raising the possibility of new elections.

Responding to criticism within her ranks, the fourth Merkel cabinet is younger and nearly evenly split between men and women.

Germany's Angela Merkel will head to France on Friday, the first foreign trip of her fourth term as chancellor, to discuss bilateral, European and global topics with French President Emmanuel Macron, a German government spokesman said, Reuters reports.

In a campaign rally in July, Merkel clearly laid out her position toward some of Trump's policies, saying that Germany "could no longer rely on the U.S.to some extent".

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Aside from managing her coalition partners at home, Ms Merkel also faces a growing list of worldwide challenges, such as a potential Europe-US trade war, a fraught relationship with Russian Federation and France's calls for closer ties between European Union nations.

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