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Merkel sworn-in as German chancellor

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Merkel sworn-in as German chancellor


Her dream has finally come true. After two months of turmoil, Angela Merkel has been voted in as Germany’s first woman chancellor by the parliament.

That seals the grand coalition deal struck by her conservative party, the CDU,and the left-of-centre Social Democrats. Merkel won 397 votes – comfortably exceeding the minimum 308 needed for a majority. The outcome suggests that most CDU and SPD deputies backed her. Her cabinet formally takes over from the SPD-Green coalition led by Gerhard Schroeder for the last seven years. The country was plunged into a political crisis following the inconclusive general election on September 18, which gave the conservatives a narrow lead over the Social Democrats. That left Merkel with no choice but to form a government with her long-time rivals. After Gerhard Schroeder stepped aside, the tricky process of agreeing on cabinet posts and a joint programme began. At the swearing-in ceremony Merkel vowed to spare no effort in serving the interests of the German people and to exercise her duties fairly and conscientiously. Not surpisingly for a leader of a party with Christian roots, she took the voluntary oath “so help me God.”
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