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Merkel's conservatives to announce ministers for grand coalition

English.news.cn   2013-12-16 01:22:10            

BERLIN, Dec.15 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives are to present their picks for cabinet ministers on Sunday as the chancellor will be sworn in next week for a third term, heading a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Merkel will hold a news conference later Sunday to announce her Christian Democratic Union's (CDU) picks for the cabinet. She is widely expected to name Ursula von der Leyen as Germany's first female defence minister, while current Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere will head the interior ministry. CDU veteran Wolfgang Schaeuble will remain as finance minister.

Merkel's other cabinet picks for her CDU party include Hermann Groehe who will serve as Health Minister, Johanna Wanka who will stay as Education Minister, and Peter Altmaier as her chief of staff, according to widely circulated local media reports.

Merkel will be reelected chancellor in a vote in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday and the new government will then be sworn into office.

Also on Sunday, Germany's SPD party formally announced its cabinet members after party members voted to enter a grand coalition with Chancellor Merkel's conservatives one day ago.

The SPD will head six ministries, including economy and energy, foreign affairs, labor, environment, justice and families, said SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel at a press conference.

Gabriel will be minister of a new Economy and Energy Ministry and take responsibility for Germany's ambitious plan of energy transformation from nuclear power to green energy.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is back at the foreign ministry. He served in that post from 2005-2009 under Merkel.

The SDP's Andrea Nahles, Barbara Hendricks, Heiko Maas and Manuela Schwesig will take responsible posts in the ministries of labor, environment, justice and families portfolios respectively.

The CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), is expected to name their ministers in the new cabinet on Sunday.

Negotiators of earlier coalition talks had said the CDU and SPD will get six ministerial posts each, and the CSU will take three.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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