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Six Months After Worst Ever Election Result Angela Merkel Begins Historic Fourth Term as Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes the oath of office in front of Parliament President Wolfgang Schaeuble after Merkel was elected for a fourth term as chancellor in the German parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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Angela Merkel has been sworn in for her fourth term as German chancellor.

Parliament speaker Wolfgang Schaeuble administered the oath of office to Merkel, who pledged to “dedicate my efforts to the well-being of the German people, promote their welfare (and) protect them from harm.”

Lawmakers voted earlier Wednesday by a 364-315 margin to re-elect Merkel, nearly six months after Germany’s election and following lengthy coalition-building efforts. She received nine more votes than she needed, but 35 votes fewer than the number of seats held by the “grand coalition” of her conservative Union bloc with the center-left Social Democrats.

The rest of Merkel’s new-look 16-member Cabinet will be sworn in later Wednesday.

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10 a.m.

Germany’s parliament has elected Angela Merkel for her fourth term as chancellor, putting an end to nearly six months of political drift in Europe’s biggest economy.

Lawmakers voted 364-315 on Wednesday to re-elect Merkel, who ran unopposed. There were nine abstentions. The coalition of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union and the center-left Social Democrats has 399 seats.

The same parties have governed for the past four years but putting together the new coalition has been hard work. Wednesday’s parliamentary vote comes 171 days – nearly double the previous record – after September’s election, in which they all lost significant ground. The Social Democrats initially planned to go into opposition.

Merkel will head a much-changed new Cabinet.

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