German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday took the oath of office in parliament, launching her fourth-term government in Europe's biggest economy.
Lawmakers in Berlin's glass-domed Reichstag had elected her with a margin of 364-315 with nine abstentions. Merkel was then formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office in the lower house.
Merkel has been voted in as Germany's chancellor for the fourth time, almost six months since the national election, bringing to an end the longest power hiatus in the country's postwar history.
She received 364 out of 709 votes in the first round of voting in parliament - 11 more than required to gain an absolute majority, but also 35 fewer than if all the members of her next governing coalition had cast their ballot in her favor.
Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, who have agreed to re-enter a grand coalition together, have a total of 399 votes between them.
"A clear vote and a smooth start," tweeted Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new general secretary of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union. "Now full steam ahead for Germany."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team