Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was elected today Wednsday by the Lawmakers in Germany as the new chancellor, which marks an the end of Merkel’s era who was in Germany’s top office for 16 years. Elections of Scholz has paved way for pro-European coalition government which has vowed to boost green investment.
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.
Scholz, who nodded wearing a face mask and waved as he received a standing ovation from lawmakers, received bouquets of flowers and a basket of apples from the leaders of the parliamentary groups.
After being nominated by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in near-by Bellevue Castle, 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 and challenges to its democratic order by authoritarian regimes.
With his down-to-earth and no-nonsense manner, Scholz has positioned himself as Merkel’s natural successor and a safe pair of hands to steer Germany through challenges ranging from tackling the climate crisis to dealing with a more confrontational Russia and a more assertive China.
Scholz will lead an unprecedented three-way ruling coalition on the federal level with the pro-spending, environmentalist Greens and the fiscally more conservative, libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) – unlikely political bedfellows in the past.