After a perennial political turmoil, Germany’s parliament elected Angela Merkel for her 4th term as the chancellor on Wednesday, March 14. She received 364 out of 709 votes in the first round of parliament. Merkel’s party Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats have agreed to forge a grand coalition and have a total 399 vote. The “Queen of Europe” was congratulated after being re-elected as German chancellor with standing ovations, handshakes and bouquets of flowers from delegates across the political spectrum.
Her victory marks the first stepping stone on Germany’s new government after the country faced 6 months of political impasse. It also is a renewal of the so-called grand coalition between the Chancellor’s CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD. In the past, the former leader of the SPD, Martin Schulz, had initially pledged to take his party into opposition, however, he was compelled to change his stance after coalition talks between the CDU, Green Party and liberal FDP collapsed in November.
Weeks after negotiation talks, a coalition treaty was produced and was later approved by SPD members who voted via postal ballot. However, according to a report by CNN, many SPD members and politicians remain unhappy with their party’s involvement with the new coalition. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been criticised in the past for adopting an open-borders policy that brought one than 1 million refugees into Germany in 2 years. The scale of future immigration was a crucial point in the 3party talks that Merkel lead on the formation of a new coalition government.