German conservative leader Angela Merkel is to be elected chancellor on November 22, two months after her Christian Democrats narrowly beat Gerhard Schrцder's Social Democrats in a general election.
Leaders from the two parties, which are in talks to form a left-right "grand coalition" government, agreed to the date late Monday, officials close to the negotiations said. Though the two parties previously agreed Merkel would lead the government as Germany's next chancellor, the Bundestag must formally elect her before she can serve that role. Merkel triumphed in a power struggle against Schrцder this month after weeks of political limbo in which both claimed they had won a mandate to lead the government due to the knife-edge result of the Sept. 18 poll. She will become the country's first woman chancellor and the first leader of the united country from the former communist east. If the negotiations succeed, she will serve at the helm of the first grand coalition government since the late 1960s. Traditionally, one of the major parties forms an alliance with a smaller kingmaker party, reports Deutsche Welle. I.L.