After her infamous reign of 16 years, Angela Merkel will be succeeded by Olaf Scholz as the new Chancellor of Germany in the German Elections 2021.
The Social Democratic Party will come into power and the Christian Democrats(CDU/CSU) will go into opposition. Moreover, this transition marks the end of an era from one of the most influential leaders of Germany.
However, Germany will be led by a center-left government, for the first time in 16 years.
Furthermore, the new leader, Olaf Scholz, will need to live up to the high expectations set by Angela Merkel. Most importantly, Ms. Merkel steered her country and the continent through a series of crises. However, in 2018 she announced that she would not seek re-election – saying goodbye as the most popular politician in her nation.
Earlier today on Wednesday, Mr. Scholz received his certificate making it official. In addition, Ms. Merkel was greeted with a standing ovation that lasted for a minute. Mr. Scholz was sworn in on Wednesday afternoon as the Chancellor of Germany.
A “Traffic Light Coalition” consisting of: the Social Democrats, the pro-business Free Democrats, and the Greens.
The Social Democrats were the junior partner to Merkel’s Christian Democrats during three of her four terms in office. Scholz offered voters the greatest stability as a result of having served as finance minister during Chancellor Merkel’s term.
Meanwhile, the incoming cabinet is going to have more women than ever.
Olaf Scholz promised to appoint as many women as his men to his government. Following this, women are heading brief roles related to diplomacy and education.
“Security will lie in the hands of strong women in this government,” Mr. Scholz said on Monday. In addition, “Women and men account for half the population each, so women should also get half the power,” he added. “I’m very proud that we have succeeded in realizing this.”
Altogether, the SPD will hold eight of the 17 Cabinet positions. This includes the chancellorship. The other nine positions are shared among the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP).
Taking a look at the new cabinet ministry of the Traffic Light Coalition,
First, the co-leader of The Greens, Robert Habeck will be Scholz’s vice-chancellor. He also head an economy and climate ministry. This is a new combination. Following this, Annalena Baerbock, who leads the Greens with Habeck, is set to become Germany’s first foreign minister.
The Greens’ five Cabinet members also include the following:
- Cem Ozdemir – the new Agriculture minister. He will become the first federal minister of Turkish origin
- Christian Lindner – the new finance minister. He is effectively the No. 3 official in the new government. His party has a strong free-market approach. Notably, they have blocked putting a universal speed limit on German highways in the coalition agreement.
- Nancy Faeser – the new Interior minister. She recently vowed to “fight the biggest threat currently facing our liberal democracy: far-right extremism.”
- Christine Lambrecht – the new defense minister. He assures to supply the German military with the resources they need.
- Klara Geywitz – the new minister for Housing and urban development. She called the gender-equal cabinet is a key signal for all women in the country.
The most closely watched appointment was that of health minister, as Germany struggles to bring down its highest coronavirus infection rates of the pandemic so far.
- Scholz chose Karl Lauterbach, the media-savvy lawmaker, as the new health minister.
- Bettina Stark-Watzinger, a former researcher and a member of the FDP, has been named education minister.
- Svenja Schulze will be the Minister for Economical Cooperation and Development, former Minister of Environment in the Merkel government.
- Moreover, Wolfgang Schmidt will be the Head of the Chancellory.
The following figure shows the distribution of roles:
During a military farewell ceremony for Ms. Merkel last week, she wished Mr. Scholz — whom she called “Dear Olaf” — “all the best, a lucky hand and much success.” He promptly replied with a compliment of his own on Twitter: “Angela Merkel was a successful chancellor,” he said. “She tirelessly stood up for her country and during 16 years in which a lot changed, stayed true to herself.”
The transition has been so harmonious that Germans said it gave them a sense of pride.
If you want to know more about the party’s policies and their plans, you can check out this video. Here I have addressed this in detail.