AVA- The vote in parliament Wednesday morning ends almost six months of political turmoil after a federal election saw millions of voters desert the two mainstream parties -- Merkel's CDU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) -- turning instead to parties on the left and right.
In a secret ballot, 364 of the Bundestag's 709 members voted in favor of Merkel -- nine more than the 50% required.
Merkel's victory marks the final stepping stone on the path to Germany's new government -- a renewal of the so-called grand coalition ("GroKo") between the Chancellor's CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD.
The former leader of the SPD, Martin Schulz, had initially ruled out a new GroKo, pledging to take his party into opposition, but was forced to change his stance after coalition talks between the CDU, Green Party and liberal FDP collapsed in November, raising the possibility of new elections.
After weeks of negotiations, a coalition treaty was produced and later approved by SPD members who voted via postal ballot.
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.
Wednesday 14 March 2018 13:04