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Angela Merkel elected by German Parliament for Fourth Term as Chancellor

14 March 2018

Angela Merkel was re-elected as German chancellor by the parliament on Wednesday, kicking off her fourth term as leader of Europe's largest economy.

Merkel was re-elected by 364 votes in Germany's lower house, or Bundestag, with 315 votes against and nine abstentions.

This will be her 13th year as Chancellor of Germany after she was first elected in 2005.

The AfD scored nearly 13% in the election, capitalising on public fears over a mass influx of more than one million refugees and migrants since 2015 and angrily demanding that "Merkel must go".

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.

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Germany's new chief diplomat is a newcomer to foreign policy, but as justice minister was a high-profile figure in Merkel's outgoing government.

Overseas she faces the trade tensions with Washington, pressure from France to reform Europe, and from Britain to stand up to Russian Federation.

Putin also wished Merkel and all members of the new German federal government good health, prosperity and success.

Despite that, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Merkel on her re-election in a telegram. Since October 24, 2017 she and her Cabinet continue as the acting government until a new government is formed.

The coalition led to political instability and German business leaders also expressed concern over the effect due to this.

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After weeks of negotiations, a coalition treaty was produced and later approved by SPD members who voted via postal ballot.

Merkel will travel to Paris Friday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on the first trip overseas of her new term.

She is expected in the afternoon for a "working session" with Macron, a statement said.

Berlin advocates closer EU cooperation on defense, immigration, and plans for a European Monetary Fund, but it is lukewarm on the idea of a joint eurozone finance minister and rejects any pooling of debt.

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Angela Merkel elected by German Parliament for Fourth Term as Chancellor