(From The Guardian)
Angela Merkel has been voted in as Germany’s chancellor for the fourth time, almost six months since the national election, bringing to an end the longest power hiatus in the country’s postwar history.
She received 364 out of 709 votes in the first round of voting in parliament – 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 re-enter a grand coalition together, have a total of 399 votes between them.
“A clear vote and a smooth start,” tweeted Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new general secretary of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. “Now full steam ahead for Germany.”