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2005: Merkel becomes German chancellor

Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), has been sworn in as Germany's first woman chancellor at a ceremony in the country's parliament.

Mrs Merkel, a conservative, will head a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who ruled before.

She is also the first chancellor to have grown up in the former communist eastern part of the country.

In the Bundestag 397 MPs voted for her, but 51 members of the governing coalition voted against her.

The BBC Berlin correspondent says this is a sign of the problems she will face in the future.

During the handover ceremony Mrs Merkel paid tribute to her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, who is preparing to leave politics.

In Context
Angela Merkel only scraped a victory on the 18 September.

In her coalition government the SPD subsequently secured roles in eight key ministries, including foreign affairs, finance and labour.

Her own party, the CDU and its partners from the Bavarian Christian Social Union, CSU, took six of the top jobs including defence and economic affairs.

After her first 100 days in office the German Government released a poll saying she was the most popular chancellor the country had ever had.


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