Merkel elected to fourth term by German parliament

Erika Holt
March 14, 2018

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union, and the center-left Social Democrats were to sign their coalition agreement Monday.

From 1600 GMT, Merkel sits down with her new cabinet, in which the SPD has wrested both the trophy posts of finance and foreign affairs to the dismay of a growing band of critics within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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. In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has been awaiting a German response to his calls for an ambitious European Union reform agenda.

Lawmakers voted 364-315 on Wednesday to re-elect Merkel, who ran unopposed. And she said she hopes for progress in implementing the long-troubled peace deal for Ukraine after this weekend's Russian presidential election.

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AÂ so-called grand coalition has ruled Germany since 2013, but when all three parties lost support in September's general election, the SPD initially said it would go into opposition and regroup.

"I got a very good smoked fish from Putin", said Merkel.

Acting Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz said the coalition isn't a "marriage of love" but the parties can govern well together.

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