DThem months and a half after the elections in Germany, Olaf Scholz was elected chancellor by the deputies on Wednesday 8 December. The Social Democrat is bringing the center-left back to power while definitively closing the 16 years of the Angela Merkel era. Of the 736 elected members of the Bundestag resulting from the September 26 poll, 395 voted for Olaf Scholz, 303 against and 6 abstained, allowing him to become the ninth chancellor of post-war Germany.
“Yes,” Olaf Scholz then replied to Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, who asked him if he accepted the result of the vote. The President of the Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, must now give him his “deed of appointment”, which will then mark the official start of his mandate. At midday, he will take the oath, with his government, before the deputies. As tradition dictates, Olaf Scholz will reserve his first visit to French President Emmanuel Macron who should receive him on Friday. The French president welcomed the election of the Social Democrat, promising him “to write the rest together”, “for the French, for the Germans, for the Europeans”, in a message posted on Twitter.
Long applauded Angela Merkel
There was no doubt about his election. His Social Democratic Party (SPD), which came first in the legislative elections, has a comfortable majority (206 seats), with its two new coalition partners, the Greens (118 seats) and the Liberals of the FDP (92). This vote marks the withdrawal of Angela Merkel after four terms of office which, within nine days, did not allow her to break the longevity record held by Helmut Kohl (1982-1998). Present in the assembly to attend the election of her successor, she was applauded at length by the deputies, most of them standing, before the opening of the plenary session.
In response, Angela Merkel, medical mask on her face, waved to them from the grandstand. French President Emmanuel Macron sent via Twitter a “thank you, dear Angela” to the conservative leader for “never having forgotten the lessons of history, for having done so much for us, with us, to advance the Europe ”. The leader will permanently leave the Chancellery after a handover ceremony in the afternoon with Olaf Scholz, her political opponent but also, game of alliances oblige, her Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor for the past four years.
An unprecedented government
A convinced feminist, Olaf Scholz will take over the reins of a government made up for the first time as many men as women. Three of them will be at the head of key ministries: Foreign Affairs for the ecologist Annalena Baerbock, Defense and the Interior for the two social democrats Christine Lambrecht and Nancy Faeser.
The government will also be unprecedented in its political composition. For the first time since the 1950s, it will bring together three parties: the SPD, the Greens and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP). These three formations quickly reached agreement on a program which gives pride of place to climate protection, budgetary rigor and Europe.