Olaf Scholz is to Become the New Federal Chancellor of Germany

After his election in the German Bundestag and the appointment by the Federal President, the Social Democrat was sworn in in Parliament. With Olaf Scholz as head of government, the Angela Merkel era ends after 16 years.

In the vote in the Bundestag, Olaf Scholz received 395 of 707 votes cast by the MPs and thus the required so-called Chancellor majority. There were 303 votes against and six abstentions. 369 yes votes were required for the election. The SPD politician was the only candidate. The traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP together have 416 seats. The Bundestag has a total of 736 members, some of which were missing from the vote.

With the election of the previous Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance, it is finally certain that there will be the first traffic light coalition in Germany at federal level. Shortly after the vote in the Bundestag, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier appointed Scholz to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel. With the appointment by the Federal President, the power of government passed from the previous Chancellor to the successor in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law.

The SPD politician took his oath of office in the Bundestag at noon: “I swear that I will devote my energies to the welfare of the German people, to increase their benefits, to prevent them from harm, to uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, perform my duties conscientiously and do justice to everyone. ”

Bundestag elects the chancellor
In the Reichstag building, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) informed the MPs at the start of the morning that the Federal President had proposed, in accordance with Article 63 of the Basic Law, that Olaf Scholz be elected Chancellor. The article also stipulates that this must be done without a debate; the vote is secret.

The ninth chancellor of the republic
The 63-year-old is the fourth SPD chancellor after Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder. The CDU has so far provided the four Chancellors Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Helmut Kohl, and for the past 16 years Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The choreography of the day is precisely regulated: After the election as Federal Chancellor and Scholz’s declaration that he would accept the election, the appointment in Bellevue Palace with Federal President Steinmeier was due. Then the new Chancellor has to go back to the Bundestag to be sworn in there. Then it goes a second time to Bellevue Palace. During this visit, the Federal President – in the presence of Scholz – appoints the new Federal Ministers. These will also be sworn in later in the Bundestag. In the afternoon, the previous Chancellor Merkel wants to hand over the Chancellery to her successor.

Leitmotiv “Dare to make more progress”
The formation of a government is now complete and the new government is in office. On Tuesday, the leading representatives of the so-called traffic light parties signed their coalition agreement.

The Ampel-Coalition, named after the colors of the three parties involved, has big plans: It is talking about the largest industrial restructuring in Germany in more than a hundred years and far-reaching social reforms. Their 177-page coalition agreement is under the motto “Dare to make more progress”. The new government wants to be an “alliance for freedom, justice and sustainability”. Among other things, it promises great efforts in terms of climate protection and a restructuring of industry. At the same time, improvements are planned for low-wage earners, tenants and families, for example. In the fight against the climate crisis, the SPD, Greens and FDP have set themselves the goal that by 2030 Germany will have 80 percent of its electricity from renewable energies.

The first major challenge facing the new federal government is coping with the corona pandemic. The government’s first legislative package will be voted on in the Bundestag on Friday. Among other things, a job-related corona vaccination obligation is to be decided.