German President proposes Merkel as chancellor

German President proposes Merkel as chancellor

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier formally proposed Chancellor Angela Merkel be re-elected to her post on Monday, ending months of uncertainty following the German elections last September.

The path to a renewed Merkel chancellorship was freed on Sunday when the Social Democrats (SPD) decisively backed another four years of "grand coalition" government with Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) after two-thirds of party members voted in favor of it.

In a short statement on Monday morning, Merkel said that "after six months, the people have the right to a solid government."  She also promised to work together with France to strengthen the European Union, and vowed to secure Germany's economy and job market for the future.

The president wrote to the lower house of parliament with his proposal. The Bundestag will then set a date for a vote on Merkel's candidacy, believed to be March 14.

If Merkel does not secure an absolute majority of votes, the Bundestag will then have a two-week period — with no limit on the number of votes held — to see if she can muster an absolute majority. If that still isn't reached, parliament must immediately vote a third time. In round three, a relative majority is sufficient, Deutsche Welle reported.


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