Angela Merkel elected to fourth term as German Chancellor
Berlin (Reuters): Angela Merkel was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany after lawmakers voted to re-elect her as leader in a close vote on Wednesday morning. She will now begin a historic fourth term as Chancellor.
Lawmakers in Berlin´s glass-domed Reichstag voted 364-315 with nine abstentions for Merkel, who was then formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office.
“I accept the vote,” a beaming Merkel, 63, told lawmakers before being sworn in by Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble.
In office since 2005, she has dominated Germany’s political landscape and steered the European Union through economic crisis.
But her authority was dented by her decision in 2015 to commit Germany to an open-door policy on refugees, resulting in an influx of more than one million people that laid bare deep divisions within the EU over migration.
At 171 days, it is by far the longest period in modern German history between a federal election and the election of a Chancellor.
In a secret ballot, 364 of the Bundestag’s 709 members voted in favor of Merkel — nine more than the 50% required. Thirty-five MPs from the parties governing under Merkel did not vote to re-elect her.