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German parliament confirms Chancellor Angela Merkel for 4th term

14 March 2018

Parliament is due to elect Merkel for her fourth term as chancellor on Wednesday, a record 171 days after Germans voted.

Merkel said she and her finance minister-designate, Olaf Scholz, would visit France after being sworn in, and "we will be able to say more than we could in December" at an European Union summit later this month.

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. Since October 24, 2017 she and her Cabinet continue as the acting government until a new government is formed. "Now full steam ahead for Germany".

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Merkel, wearing a white blazer, said "I accept the vote" and beamed happily as applause filled the Bundestag chamber, where her scientist husband Joachim Sauer and her 89-year-old mother Herlind Kasner were among the well-wishers.

Ms Merkel is to be formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office later this morning.

The pressure will be on the new government to immediately get down to business, after months of horse-trading and delayed decision-making. She has also stressed the necessity of securing Germany's borders, and developing policies to mitigate the causes of migration.

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The new "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties emerged after Merkel's attempt to forge an alliance with two smaller parties collapsed.

"(Merkel) said it's up to Russian Federation to quickly provide answers to the British government's justified questions and to heed the call to completely and immediately lay bare the relevant chemical weapons programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons", Seibert said.

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German parliament confirms Chancellor Angela Merkel for 4th term