Angela Merkel Elected To Serve 4th Term As German Chancellor

Presents from Putin: Merkel recalls receiving 'very good smoked fish' from Russian president

The vote in parliament Wednesday morning ends nearly 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. gathered that in all, 364 members of the Bundestag voted for Merkel, while 315 voted against her. This brings back memories from 2005 when Merkel became the Chancellor of Germany for the first time with an alliance between CDU and the SPD.

"The fact Merkel only received nine votes more than the 355 she needed to be re-elected also shows the level of political opposition she faces in what will be her last and likely toughest term", NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says.

An hour earlier, with a wave to the public gallery and her 89-year-old mother and husband, Merkel strode into the Bundestag chamber.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has congratulated Angela Merkel on her re-election as German Chancellor.

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In a parliament vote on Wednesday morning, more than 50% of Berlin's Bundestag's voted in her favor.

Merkel, 63, was sworn in after lawmakers from her conservative Christian Democratic Union party and junior coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party, re-elected her for the position in a close vote.

She must now juggle competing domestic demands from her conservative Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union alliance and the SPD, just as Germany is locked in a trade stand-off with the United States. The Social Democrats initially planned to go into opposition. With all the coalition parties keen to send signals of renewal, she leads a much-changed Cabinet.

Merkel's fourth time is expected to be her last, and will be formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office at 1100 GMT. In response to questions about her political standing after the election, Ms Merkel said she has no intention of quitting before her new term ends in 2021. "This will not be an easy coalition, we have some hard tasks ahead", saidVolker Kauder, CDU floor leader.

Merkel also said Berlin remained opposed to any mutualisation of debt in Europe, adding that the main goal was, in the aftermath of the eurozone crisis, to push "sustainable stabilisation" to create growth and jobs.

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