Angela Merkel elected German Chancellor for fourth term

Merkel is leading a fragile coalition threatened on both sides

Angela Merkel's fourth term is likely to be her most testing

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Angela Merkel has been elected German Chancellor for a fourth time, continuing her remarkable dominance of the country's political establishment.

Merkel was re-elected by the comfortable margin of 364 votes to 315 in the German legislature, and she has since said she accepted the investiture, which is likely to be her final term.

The leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005, making her one of Europe's longest-serving political leaders and one of the most powerful political figures in the European Union.

Known to many as 'Mummy Merkel', she is seen by supporters as a beacon of stability and compromise whose pragmatic policies have helped consolidate Germany's economic growth.

However it is thought that Merkel's fourth term is likely to be her toughest, given that her party's coalition with the Social Democrats and Christian Social Union is widely seen as fragile. The coalition enjoys only a small majority in the German Bundestag and has come under fire from both sides of the political spectrum.

On the left, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats have promised to give Merkel's new Government 100 days' grace before deciding whether to actively oppose it, while on the right the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) presages a rise in anti-immigrant and anti-EU sentiment among sections of German society, frustrated with Merkel's open door immigration policy.