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Social Democrat Scholz to be new German chancellor as Merkel bows out

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The newly-elected lower house of the German parliament is set to elect Olaf Scholz as chancellor on Wednesday as Angela Merkel leaves the political stage after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s largest economy. The Bundestag vote, by secret ballot without debate, is seen as a formality after Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), which emerged narrowly ahead in the late September elections, agreed a coalition deal with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP). Following an early morning vote, Scholz and his cabinet of 16 ministers – seven from the SPD, five from the Greens and four…

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