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1151Merkel to become German chancellor

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  • Greg Cannon
    Oct 10, 2005
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      10:38am (UK)
      Merkel to become German chancellor

      Conservative leader Angela Merkel is set to become
      Germany's first female chancellor.

      She will get the job under a power-sharing agreement
      that would end Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder's
      seven years in office, Social Democratic officials

      But the Social Democrats extracted a high price for
      Schroeder backing down; his party would get eight
      seats in the Cabinet, compared to six for Merkel's
      group, said the officials.

      The deal must be approved by the parties and

      The deal would end a three-week stand-off that began
      when voters ousted Schroeder's ruling coalition of
      Social Democrats and Greens, but failed to give a
      majority to Merkel's preferred centre-right coalition.

      That forced the Social Democrats and her Christian
      Democrats to seek a power-sharing deal across the
      left-right divide.

      Merkel forced Schroeder to drop his demand to be
      chancellor, saying that as head of the party with the
      largest number of seats the job belonged to her.

      Under the terms of the agreement, the Social Democrats
      would head the foreign, finance, labour, justice,
      health, transport, environment and development

      Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Bavaria-only
      allies, the Christian Social Union, would get defence,
      interior, agriculture, families and education.

      The Christian Social Union head, Edmund Stoiber, would
      become economy minister.