Merkel voted into 4th term as German chancellor

Germany's new grand coalition ends 'time of uncertainty'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, bruised by half a year of post-election coalition haggling, was on Wednesday elected by parliament to her fourth and likely final term at the helm of Europe's biggest economy. Since October 24, 2017 she and her Cabinet continue as the acting government until a new government is formed. The parliamentary lower house voted in favour of her 364-315 - paving the way for Merkel's fourth term at the helm.

According to a report by CNN, Merkel will first travel to the Berlin residence of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to be officially nominated before returning to the Bundestag to be sworn in as Chancellor later on Wednesday. Merkel said on Monday her new government's focus would be on integrating refugees as well as increasing state powers to extradite people who had no right of residence.

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The grand coalition was initially seen as an unlikely constellation after the election on 24 September, when Merkel's conservative alliance, the pro-business FDP and the environmentalist Greens strove to create a so-called "Jamaica" coalition.

"(Merkel) said it's up to Russian Federation to quickly provide answers to the British government's justified questions and to heed the call to completely and immediately lay bare the relevant chemical weapons programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons", Seibert said. "It shows that the grand coalition is actually going to be a small coalition".