22 November 2005

An historic day for Germany

At last, it's official. As of about half an hour ago, Germany finally has a new Chancellor. And for the first time in the country's history, it's a woman.

Angela Merkel, leader of the centre-right CDU (Christian Democratic Union) was voted in as Bundeskanzlerin (Federal Chancellor) in the first round of voting in the German Bundestag this morning. She needed 308 votes to be elected. In the end she received a healthy majority of 398. She will be officially appointed by the President, Horst Köhler this afternoon, and the members of her right-left "Grand Coalition" cabinet will be sworn in. More analysis on this from me this evening, but for now, congratulations Frau Merkel, and well done Germany for finally getting around to having a woman in the top job.

[Correction: Angela Merkel in fact received 397 votes. That was typo, rather than a change in the offical count. My bad!]