Merkel elected to fourth term by German parliament

2018 Ferdinand Ostrop  AP      
                                               Stefan Meister

2018 Ferdinand Ostrop AP Stefan Meister

The path was finally cleared for Chancellor Angela Merkel to revive the coalition of her Christian Democrats (CDU), her Bavarian-based allies the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the SPD after Social Democrat members voted to approve the deal two weeks ago.

Lawmakers are due to vote Merkel back in as chancellor on Wednesday, when she and her cabinet are also due to be sworn in. Following a disastrous election result that came after four years as Merkel's junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats agreed to join the new government only after lengthy internal wrangling. "Now full steam ahead for Germany".

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Ms Merkel is to be formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office later this morning. 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.

Merkel's CDU/CSU alliance emerged as the largest bloc in parliament following September's federal election, but they failed to secure an absolute majority. "If these unilateral actions can't be avoided, we will have to consider how we can answer that, but I am counting on talks, and there will be many opportunities for that". "It shows that the grand coalition is actually going to be a small coalition".

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