Merkel sworn in for fourth term as German chancellor

Merkel sworn in for fourth term as German chancellor

Germany's Bundestag has re-elected Angela Merkel as the country’s chancellor today. She received 364 out of 688 valid votes in the 709-member Bundestag.

Angela Merkel has been sworn in as Germany’s chancellor for the fourth time this morning, almost six months since the national election bringing to an end the longest power hiatus in the country’s postwar history.

Germany’s incumbent head of government received 364 out of 709 votes in the first round of voting – 11 more than required to gain an absolute majority, but also 35 fewer than if all the members of her next governing coalition had cast their ballot in her favour.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, who have agreed to reenter a grand coalition together, have a total of 399 votes between them.

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, the Guardian reported.

After Merkel’s reelection she will immediately travel to Schloss Bellevue to receive a letter of appointment by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before heading back to the Bundestag in order to take the oath of office. Later in the day, the new government ministers are also expected to be sworn in before the cabinet meets for the first time this afternoon.