Merkel Gets Backing for Fourth Term After Months of Suspense

Germany’s Social Democrats agreed to prolong their unpopular ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, ending a period of political uncertainty unprecedented in the country’s recent history.

The vote lifted the last hurdle for Ms. Merkel to start her fourth, and likely last, term as leader of Europe’s largest economy nearly half a year after an inconclusive general election left the country without a clear ruling majority.

The cliffhanger vote among just 460,000 SPD members kept the political establishment on tenterhooks for weeks, as the left-leaning party split on whether to enter their third alliance with Ms. Merkel following their worst post-World War II election result last September.



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