Wednesday, December 8th, 2021
The Bundestag adopts Merkel
Federal Chancellor Scholz takes the oath of office
For the first time since 2005, Germany has a new Federal Chancellor. In the decisive vote in the Bundestag, the members of the SPD, Greens and FDP lift Olaf Scholz into office. However, the SPD politician is missing at least 15 traffic light votes in the count.
Olaf Scholz has been elected ninth Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. The SPD politician received 395 of 707 votes in a secret ballot in the Bundestag. 369 votes were required for the election. Together, the three traffic light parties have 416 seats.
It was already known during the count that Scholz would not receive all of the votes from the SPD, Greens and FDP. The SPD reported four cases of illness, the Greens and the FDP one each. “That is the overall situation in Germany as well,” said SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich to the television broadcaster “Welt”. “You are excused, you are not allowed to come here in the German Bundestag either.” However, this also means that at least 15 traffic light MPs did not vote for Scholz.
Handover of the Chancellery in the afternoon
The 63-year-old is the fourth SPD chancellor after Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder. With Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Helmut Kohl, the CDU has also provided four chancellors so far and, in the past 16 years, Angela Merkel, the first female chancellor. She followed the vote from the parliamentary stands and was greeted with a standing ovation after President Bärbel Bas of the Bundestag welcomed her. Only the AfD parliamentary group did not show her any respect.
Scholz will only move into the Chancellery in a few hours; Merkel will hand over the German government headquarters to her successor in the afternoon. After the vote in the Bundestag, Scholz initially received his certificate of appointment from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace. With the handover, the power of government was transferred from Merkel to Scholz in accordance with the Basic Law. At noon, the SPD politician took his oath of office in the Bundestag. Among other things, Scholz swore to devote his energies to the well-being of the German people, to increase their benefit and to prevent them from harm. Scholz dispensed with the addition “So help me God”.
At the suggestion of the 63-year-old, Federal President Steinmeier will next appoint the Federal Ministers of the SPD, Greens and FDP. Most of them are expected to hand over to their offices in the afternoon. At 6 p.m. the new Federal Cabinet will hold its constituent meeting.
7x SPD, 5x green, 4x FDP
The SPD had won the federal election on September 26th and, after catching up, was the strongest force with 25.7 percent, ahead of the CDU / CSU (24.1 percent). In purely mathematical terms, with this result the Union could also have led a Jamaica alliance with the Greens and the FDP. However, the two smaller parties opted for coalition negotiations with the SPD.
The SPD has seven ministers in the new government: Wolfgang Schmidt (Head of the Chancellery), Karl Lauterbach (Health), Hubertus Heil (Labor and Social Affairs), Nancy Faeser (Inside), Christine Lambrecht (Defense), Klara Geywitz (Construction) and Svenja Schulze (development).
For the Greens, Annalena Baerbock (outside), Robert Habeck (economy and climate protection), Anne Spiegel (family), Steffi Lemke (environment) and Cem Özdemir (agriculture) move into the cabinet. Habeck is also Vice Chancellor. The cabinet members of the FDP are Christian Lindner (finance), Volker Wissing (transport), Marco Buschmann (justice) and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (education).