Social Democrat Olaf Scholz has been sworn in as Germany’s new chancellor, ending Germany’s Angela Merkel era.
The new appointment also paves the way for a pro-European coalition government that has promised to boost green investment.
Scholz, 63, who served as vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s outgoing government, got a clear majority on Wednesday of 395 votes from lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Bundestag President Baerbel Bas said.
A lawyer who joined the Social Democrats at 17, Scholz had been positioning himself to succeed Merkel for some time.
Scholz was the responsible for the Social Democrats’ surprise win in the 2021 elections. The party came from third place in the polls to secure a narrow victory over the CDU. He then quickly assembled a coalition with the German Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.
Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have won 25.7% of the vote, according to the preliminary results of the German election.
However, Angela Merkel’s conservatives have suffered their worst postwar result.
The center-left Social Democrats will now lead a coalition negotiations with party leader Olaf Scholz claiming a “clear mandate” to form the government for the first time since 2005.
Negotiations could take months, and the SPD may take the first chance to form a government.