German parliament confirms Chancellor Angela Merkel for 4th term

German parliament confirms Chancellor Angela Merkel for 4th term

Her Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) and Social Democratic Party reached an agreement last month to form another "grand coalition" government, after a months-long post-election stalemate.

Despite a hard start - former SPD head Martin Schulz first refused to enter a grand coalition, then was forced to walk back on his position, prompting his resignation - the parties are now in a position to "work together constructively" and put an end to Germany's "time of uncertainty", Scholz told reporters at a joint press conference alongside Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

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

Merkel will head a much-changed new Cabinet.

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German lawmakers voted on Wednesday to re-elect Angela Merkel as chancellor for a fourth term that may prove her most challenging yet as she leads a fragile coalition with her standing diminished.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German leader had condemned the attack and assured May in a telephone call that she was taking the British government's views on possible Russian involvement in the attack extremely seriously. "If these unilateral actions can't be avoided, we will have to consider how we can answer that, but I am counting on talks, and there will be many opportunities for that".

The same parties have governed for the past four years but putting together the new coalition has been hard work.

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