German parliament set to elect Merkel for 4th term

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Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel , German Chancellor

Germany’s parliament is set to elect Angela Merkel for a fourth term as chancellor, ending nearly six months of political drift in Europe’s biggest economy.

Merkel needs the support of a majority of all lawmakers to be re-elected on Wednesday, meaning that she has to win at least 355 votes.

The coalition of her conservative Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union and the center-left Social Democrats has 399 seats.

The same parties have governed for the past four years but Wednesday’s parliamentary vote comes 171 days — nearly double the previous record, after September’s election, in which they all lost significant ground.

The Social Democrats initially planned to go into opposition.

Merkel is expected to head a much-changed new Cabinet.

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