World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Merkel, first German woman elected Chancellor

Angela Merkel, first German woman elected Chancellor

Germany has its first woman Chancellor, something of a milestone in postwar German history. In a parliamentary ballot held this morning (November 22) Angela Merkel (CDU) received 397 votes, considerably more than the simple majority needed to be elected. A total of 612 ballots were cast, 611 were valid, there were 12 abstentions, and 202 MPs voted against Merkel.

The CDU/CSU and SPD signed a coalition agreement November 18. The new cabinet, consisting of fifteen ministers plus Chancellor Merkel, was sworn in this afternoon.

In a statement made after the outcome of the vote was announced, speaker of parliament Norbert Lammert (CDU) said: "This is a strong signal for many women, and doubtless for a number of men as well." The outgoing Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (SPD), was the first to congratulate Merkel.

After her election Merkel drove to Charlottenburg Castle, where President Horst Köhler presented her with a certificate of appointment. She is the eighth postwar German Chancellor and the first eastern German to hold this office.

After that she returned to the Bundestag to take the oath of office in the presence of the other members of parliament.

Chancellery handover

In the afternoon Gerhard Schröder handed over the reins of government to Angela Merkel at the Chancellery, wishing her good luck and success in her work for the country. Schröder had words of praise for the Chancellery staff, telling Merkel she would be able to rely on each and every one of them.

The new Chancellor thanked the staff for the friendly reception and said she would take up her work "with an open heart and an alert mind", adding that the job the German electorate expects the new government to do can only be done successfully if everyone works together.

Turning to Schröder, Merkel said: "You set milestones with Agenda 2010 and numerous other things that we will be able to continue, and I say this regardless of the fact that we were not always of the same opinion."

Applause for outgoing Chancellor

The Chancellery staff gave a long round of applause for the outgoing Chancellor as well as for the new Chancellor.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>