German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts after elected during the meeting of Bundestag, lower house of parliament, in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 17, 2013. Germany's Angela Merkel was formally elected chancellor for a third term on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)
BERLIN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reelected in a vote in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday for a third term, and her coalition government will be sworn into office to rule Europe's biggest economy for the next four years.
The chancellor won the parliament election with 462 votes in favor, 150 votes against and nine abstentions.
Merkel is due to be appointed by German President Joachim Gauck the president's official residence and head back to the parliament to be sworn into office, thus becoming the country's third post-war chancellor to win a third term.
Cabinet ministers of the new coalition government, formed by Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party Chrisitian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD), will also take the oath in the parliament.
Prominent members of the new cabinet include Ursula von der Leyen, the country's first female defence minister, and finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who joined hands with the chancellor in Germany's efforts to fight the eurozone debt crisis.
SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel will head a new Economy and Energy Ministry and take responsibility for Germany's ambitious plan of energy transformation from nuclear power to green energy. SPD veteran Frank-Walter Steinmeier is back as the foreign minister. He served in the post from 2005-2009 under Merkel.
The new cabinet will meet for the first time in the afternoon at Merkel's office, putting an end to a two-month political limbo after the Sept. 22 elections, when Merkel's bloc proved to be the biggest winner with 41.5 percent of votes, while the SPD took 25.7 percent.
Merkel will address the parliament on Wednesday and then travel to Paris to meet President Francois Hollande in her first foreign visit of the new term.
The grand coalition between Merkel's conservatives and the SPD, as in Merkel's 2005-2009 first term, is supported by most Germans. A poll released by public broadcaster ZDF Friday showed that 49 percent of Germans welcomed a grand coalition while 33 percent opposed it.
However, the coalition government was able to become a reality last week as a majority of the SPD members backed the proposed coalition deal in a binding vote within the party. Some SPD members harbored skepticism on becoming Merkel's junior partner again. The party suffered a electoral defeat in 2009 after serving as Merkel's junior coalition party in her first term.
Leaders of the three parties involved in the coalition signed an agreement on Monday, outlining Germany's key policies for the next four years. The 185-page deal, entitled "Shaping Germany's Future," was signed by Angela Merkel, head of the CDU, with her counterparts Horst Seehofer from the CSU and SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel.
The parties agreed on a wide range of domestic issues, including the introduction of a minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour, dual citizenship, lowering retirement age from 67 to 63 for some citizens, and an extra spending of 23 billion euros (31.6 billion U.S. dollars) without tax increases.
They also promised a European policy that secures a stable euro and the eurozone.
BERLIN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reelected in a vote in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday for a third term, and her coalition government will be sworn into office to rule Europe's biggest economy for the next four years.Full Story
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).Full Story
BERLIN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- An internal vote of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) approved a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, the SPD announced on Saturday afternoon.Full Story