New Straits Times

Coalition vote paves way for Merkel’s fourth term

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BERLIN: Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) voted decisively for another coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservati­ves yesterday, clearing the way for a new government in Europe’s largest economy and ending months of political uncertaint­y.

Two thirds of the membership voted “yes” to the deal, a party official said, a wider margin than many had expected. This means Merkel could be sworn in for a fourth term by the middle of this month, in a re- peat of the grand coalition that has governed since 2013.

Challenges are piling up for Merkel, who has been acting chancellor for more than five months since an inconclusi­ve election, with Europe looking to its largest country for leadership on economic and security issues.

Addressing party activists lining the balconies around the atrium of the party’s headquarte­rs here yesterday, acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz said: “We now have clarity: SPD will join the next German government.”

Merkel took to her party’s Twitter feed to congratula­te SPD.

“I look forward to working with SPD again for the good of our country.”

European Commission­er for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici congratula­ted SPD for its “responsibl­e and decisive vote” on Twitter and said Germany was “ready to engage for a stronger Europe”.

 ??  ?? Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel

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