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Olaf Scholz voted in to replace Merkel as Germany’s leader

Designated German Chancellor Olaf Scholz smiles during a news conference after the signing of...
Designated German Chancellor Olaf Scholz smiles during a news conference after the signing of the coalition agreement with two other parties for new German government in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. A coalition of the Social Democratic Party, SPD, Green Party and the Free Democratic Party, FDP, will elect Olaf Scholz as new German Chancellor on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)(Markus Schreiber | AP)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:51 AM CST
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BERLIN (AP) - Germany’s parliament has elected Olaf Scholz as the country’s ninth post-World War II chancellor, opening a new era for the European Union’s most populous nation and largest economy after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure.

Scholz’s government takes office with high hopes of modernizing Germany and combating climate change, but faces the immediate challenge of handling the country’s toughest phase yet of the coronavirus pandemic.

Scholz won the support of 395 lawmakers on Wednesday. His three-party coalition holds 416 seats in the 736-seat lower house of parliament.

Scholz was to be formally named as chancellor by Germany’s president and sworn in by the speaker of parliament later Wednesday.

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