Angela Merkel Reelected As German Chancellor In Landslide Victory
It looks like German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be keeping her job for the next four years after winning reelection to her third term by a landslide on Sunday.
Merkel just missed being elected by a total majority, a feat last accomplished in 1957 by Konrad Adenauer. The easy reelection is seen by many as resounding endorsement of Merkel's policies, which notably include the implementation of austerity measures to combat Europe's financial crises. Merkel's reelection makes her the only major leader to be kept in office twice since the 2008 financial meltdown in the European Union.
After hearing of her victory, Merkel said, "This is a super result. Together, we will do all we can to make the next four years successful ones for Germany."
But her personal victory doesn't necessarily mean smooth sailing for the next four years. Despite having their best showing since 1990, Merkel's party, the conservative leaning Christian Democrats, along with their allies, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, won 311 of 630 seats in Parliament — just short of a majority.
And another ally of Merkel's, the Free Democrats look like they will fall short of the five percent vote cutoff needed to remain in Parliament.
That may mean that the newly reelected chancellor has to forge another "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats, a group she has partnered with in the past. An alliance with the left leaning group means that Merkel would likely have to hand over key cabinet positions or be forced to implement policies at odds with her political stances, like the creation of a minimum wage.
Merkel's political career began in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She is now considered one of the most powerful women in the world and is on course to surpass Margret Thatcher as the longest-serving female elected president in Europe.
During a celebration of her victory, the 59-year-old Merkel reminded supporters that the fanfare surrounding her reelection would be short-lived: "“Tomorrow, we work.”