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Germany’s chancellor-designate announces key Cabinet picks

08:58 07 December 2021 Author :  

German Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz on Monday named women to key government positions, fulfilling his election campaign promise of a gender-balanced Cabinet.

The Social Democrat leader named Christine Lambrecht, the country’s current justice minister, to the defense minister post.

Nancy Faeser, an experienced politician, will become the country’s first female interior minister.

Scholz told reporters that four out of seven Social Democrat (SPD) ministerial positions in the new coalition government will be filled by women.

He named Svenja Schulze, the current environment minister, to be development minister. Klara Geywitz, a prominent Social Democrat figure, will take the new post of housing minister.

The SPD’s coalition partner the Greens also named female politicians to key positions in the new government.

Annalena Baerbock, the Greens’ co-chair, will become Germany’s next foreign minister, and Steffi Lemke will helm the Environment Ministry.

The Greens also chose Cem Ozdemir, a prominent politician of Turkish origin, to be agriculture minister. He will be the country’s first federal minister with Turkish roots.

The party announced on Monday that in a digital voting process, nearly 86% of its members approved the coalition agreement and the party’s candidates for the ministerial posts.

The coalition deal was approved by the SPD delegates on Saturday, and received overwhelming support from the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) at a special party conference on Sunday.

New coalition to take office on Wednesday

The three-party coalition government of the SPD, Greens, and the Free Democrats is set to be sworn in by the federal parliament on Wednesday.

Scholz's SPD narrowly won the Sept. 26 elections over longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, and hammered out a coalition agreement with the two smaller parties last month.

After 16 years in power, Merkel did not run in the election, and said she will leave active politics once the new government takes office./aa

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