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Merkel re-elected, sworn in as German chancellor
BERLIN, Oct 28 (AP):
Published on 28 Oct. 2009 10:28 PM IST
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Angela Merkel was sworn in Wednesday for a second term as German chancellor, a month after her party won national elections. Merkel, 55, will serve as chancellor of a center-right government coalition of her Christian Democratic Party, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union, and the pro-business Free Democrats. Merkel was elected through a vote of 323 in favor out of a possible 612. She was then formally namedby President Horst Koehler and sworn into a second term in office. The swearing in of her 15 ministers then followed. The new coalition has promised an overhaul of the health care system, more help for families and annual tax cuts of up to euro24 billion ($36 billion). In his address to the new government, Koehler called Merkel and her ministers to help give European integration a boost. "Germany should be one of the nations that actively contributes to moving Europe forward," the president said. Merkel heads off to Brussels on Thursday to attend the European Union summit. In 2005, Merkel became the first woman to be elected as Germany's head of government. During her first term she led a grand coalition of Germany's two main parties — her conservatives and the Social Democrats. She is the only German head of government to switch coalition partners between terms in office. Next week she is to address the U.S. Congress.

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