Olaf Scholz Elected as Germany’s New Chancellor

Image: Markus Schreiber

Germany’s parliament has elected Olaf Scholz as the country’s ninth post-World War II chancellor. 

Scholz, who will be formally elected by the Bundestag lower house of parliament and then sworn in by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has pledged broad “continuity” with the popular Merkel while making Germany greener and fairer.

The election of 63-year-old Scholz comes  after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure.

Lawmakers voted by 395-303 to elect Scholz as chancellor, with six abstentions. 

Scholz says Germany is entering a new era. 

 “We are venturing a new departure, one that takes up the major challenges of this decade and well beyond that. If the parties succeed, that is a mandate to be re-elected together at the next election.”

AFP reports Scholz, who turned emulating Merkel in style and substance into a winning strategy, has now cobbled together Germany’s first national “traffic light” coalition with the ecologist Greens and the liberal Free Democrats, nicknamed after the parties’ colours.

Their four-year pact sealed late last month is called “Dare for More Progress”, a hat tip to Social Democratic chancellor Willy Brandt’s 1969 historic pledge to “Dare for More Democracy”.

The alliance aims to slash carbon emissions, overhaul decrepit digital infrastructure, modernise citizenship laws, lift the minimum wage and have Germany join a handful of countries worldwide in legalising marijuana.

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