Germany’s parliament votes for Merkel to serve 4th term as country’s chancellor, helming a ‘grand coalition’ government
By Ayhan Simsek
Germany’s parliament on Wednesday voted in Angela Merkel to a fourth term as the country’s chancellor, helming a “grand coalition” of conservative and center-left parties.
Merkel was re-elected by 364 votes in Germany’s lower house, or Bundestag, with 315 votes against and nine abstentions.
She had to win at least 355 votes, a majority of all lawmakers, to be re-elected.
The vote showed that several lawmakers from Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) and its coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) did not back her reelection bid.
The coalition partners had a total of 399 lawmakers in the Bundestag.
The leaders of the CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD reached an agreement last month to form another “grand coalition” government, after a months-long post-election stalemate.
Merkel was accused by senior conservative politicians of giving too many concessions to the Social Democrats.
The SPD’s left wing also opposed the grand coalition, but 66 percent of SPD members voted in favor of the coalition agreement, in a binding postal ballot.
The CDU/CSU alliance emerged as the largest bloc in parliament following September’s federal election, winning 246 seats in the 709-seat parliament.
Social Democrats suffered their worst result in decades but the SPD remained the second-largest party in parliament with 153 lawmakers.
Many Social Democrats blamed their poor showing on the party’s membership in the previous “grand coalition.”