Friday, May 24, 2019 | ePaper

Merkel re-elected as Chancellor for 4th term

  • Print


Reuters, Berlin :
German lawmakers today voted to re-elect Angela Merkel as chancellor for a fourth, and likely final, term that may prove her most challenging yet as she takes charge of a fragile coalition with her personal standing diminished. Lawmakers voted by 364 to 315, with nine abstentions, in favor of re-electing Merkel, a humbling start as the coalition of her conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) has 399 votes in the Bundestag lower house of parliament. "I accept the vote," a beaming Merkel, 63, told lawmakers.
In office since 2005, she has dominated Germany's political landscape and steered the European Union through economic crisis. But her authority was dented by her decision in 2015 to commit Germany to an open-door policy on migration, resulting in an influx of more than one million people.
She must now juggle competing domestic demands from her conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD, just as Germany is locked in a trade stand-off with the United States.
"It is a good start for Germany to have a stable government... after so many months, there is now a big incentive to get down to work with energy," Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.
Merkel was due to meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before returning to the Bundestag to be sworn in.
Ministers will then be sworn in later in the day - almost six months after last September's national election in which both coalition partners lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The conservative bloc only turned to the SPD to prolong the 'grand coalition' that has governed Germany since 2013 out of desperation, after talks on a three-way alliance with two smaller parties collapsed last November.
Fault lines have emerged in the new government even before its first cabinet meeting, with tensions evident over the sequencing and extent of reforms.
The pressure is on for both camps to deliver: The inclusion in the coalition deal of a clause that envisages a review of the government's progress after two years gives each the opportunity to leave the alliance then if it is not working for them.
The priority the government gives to different reforms set out in the coalition deal, the extent to which it implements them, and the personnel involved promise a welter of competing pressures that Merkel will need all her political skill to balance.
The SPD only agreed to ally with Merkel after promising a list of distinctive policies to secure the approval of party members, many of whom wanted the SPD to regroup in opposition after the last four years in coalition damaged its standing among voters.

More News For this Category

Loan default is civil liability, criminalising is bad business

The High Court has halted the privilege of loan defaulters to secure further loans by giving a 2 per cent down payment until June 23. It issued a status-quo

HC summons BFSA chief Substandard food

Staff Reporter :The High Court (HC) on Thursday summoned the Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for not complying with court's earlier order to remove 52 food products from

Big win for Narendra Modi,  Congress admits defeat

Big win for Narendra Modi, Congress admits defeat

New Delhi/Ayodhya (Reuters) :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scored a dramatic election victory on Thursday, putting his Hindu nationalist party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of

Thousands of vehicles remained stuck at a huge traffic gridlock in different city roads, causing untold sufferings to commuters. This photo was taken from Kakoli-Banani area on Thursday.

Thousands of vehicles remained stuck at a huge traffic gridlock in different city roads, causing untold sufferings to commuters. This photo was taken from Kakoli-Banani area on Thursday.

BRTA to keep vigilant activities at bus terminals during Ramzan

Staff Reporter :Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) will continue vigilant activities in city's bus terminals to make smooth journey for home-goers during the coming Eid-ul-Fitr.   Three committees of BRTA will

HC summons BFSA chief

Staff Reporter :The High Court (HC) on Thursday summoned the Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for not complying with court's earlier order to remove 52 food products from

'All losers are not losers,' says Mamata Banerjee

'All losers are not losers,' says Mamata Banerjee

Outlook Web Bureau :West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday congratulated the winners after the first few hours of the Lok Sabha election results made amply clear that Narendra

4 of a family killed in Gazipur gas cylinder blast

UNB, Gazipur :Four members of a family were killed in a gas cylinder explosion at Islampur in the city on Wednesday night.The deceased were identified as Shah Alam, 38, his

8 more killed in road crashes

Staff Reporter  :Reckless driving takes lives again on the streets. At least eight persons including a school teacher were killed and 20 others seriously injured in separate road crashes across

British govt postpones Brexit vote

AFP  :The British government on Thursday postponed a crucial Brexit vote scheduled for the first week of June, following an outcry from hardline Brexiteers over concessions made by Prime Minister