Scholz elected as Germany's chancellor, ending Merkel era

TEHRAN, Dec. 08 (MNA) – German lawmakers elected Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as German chancellor on Wednesday, ending 16 years of conservative rule under Angela Merkel.

Scholz, 63, who served as vice-chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s outgoing government, got a clear majority of 395 votes from lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Bundestag President Baerbel Bas said, Reuters reported.

Scholz exchanged fist bumps with lawmakers from across the political spectrum. He nodded wearing a face mask and waved as he received a standing ovation, receiving bouquets of flowers from the leaders of the parliamentary groups.

He was to be formally named as chancellor by Germany’s president and sworn in by the speaker of parliament later on Wednesday.

Merkel, 67, who is no longer a member of parliament, looked on from the spectators’ gallery as parliament voted. She has said she will not seek another political role after shepherding Germany through a turbulent era. She has not disclosed any future plans but said earlier this year that she will take time to read and sleep, “and then let’s see where I show up”.

After being nominated by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Bellevue Palace, Scholz will return to parliament to take the oath of office in front of the lawmakers.

In the afternoon, Merkel will hand over the chancellery to the new leader of Europe’s largest economy, which is facing a brutal fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

RHM/PR

News Code 181556

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