Olaf Scholz was elected Chancellor on Wednesday by the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag).
In the 736-member parliament, 707 members took part in the chancellor election and 395 supported the politician of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). This is 26 more than the minimum required of 369. Six abstained, three voted invalid, 303 voted no.
Olaf Scholz is the ninth chancellor of post-World War II Germany and the fourth Social Democrat after Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder. Her predecessor, Angela Merkel, who took office in 2005, resigned voluntarily after four terms – 5,860 days. He is retiring from politics and does not have a mandate, so he followed the vote on the gallery of the Reichstag, the headquarters of the Bundestag. Following the election, Olaf Scholz received his credentials from the head of state in the office of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. With this act, the power of the Chancellor was transferred to him. After the short ceremony, the parliamentary session will be resumed, at which the new prime minister will take his oath of office.
Olaf Scholz’s government is made up of a coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP). The ministers will be appointed by the federal president, who will then take the oath of office in the Bundestag, also on Wednesday. The new government and its members will take office after the parliamentary session. Angela Merkel will also hand over her office to her successor on Wednesday afternoon.
The Scholz government has been the first Social Democratic government in Germany since 2005 and the first government in the country’s post-World War II history to be made up of three partners.
The Scholz government will have 16 ministers, eight women and eight men. For the first time, the head of the Ministry of the Interior is SPD politician Nancy Faeser, and for the third time in a row she is the Minister of Defense, followed by Christine Lambr, a Social Democrat, after two Christian Democrat (CDU) politicians, Ursula von der Leyen and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The Foreign Office will be headed by Annalena Baerbock, Co-Chair of the Greens. However, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the German public expected with the utmost attention who would be the next health minister after Jens Spahn from the CDU. Olaf Scholz asked Karl Lauterbach of the SPD, one of Germany’s most popular politicians and one of his most respected public health experts.
Under the coalition agreement, the SPD will have six ministries in addition to the Chancellery and the office of Prime Minister. The Greens lead five portfolios and the FDP four. For the Greens, the most important is a new element in the government structure, the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, referred to as the Ministry of Economic Supern, led by Robert Habeck, vice-president of the left-wing eco-party. Habeck will also be the vice-chancellor of the Scholz government. The most important ministry of the FDP is the Ministry of Finance, one of the most important departments in international and EU politics, and will be headed by Christian Lindner, chairman of the center-right Liberal Party.
In an interview with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, he emphasized his joy and confidence. As he said, Olaf Scholz will be a good leader because of his “long political experience and calm nature”.