Angela Merkel (C) receives congratulations after being re-elected as chancellor in Berlin, Germany, March 14, 2018. Angela Merkel was re-elected as German chancellor on Wednesday by the parliament, kicking off her fourth term to lead Europe's largest economy. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
BERLIN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Angela Merkel was re-elected as German chancellor by the parliament on Wednesday, kicking off her fourth term as leader of Europe's largest economy.
Among the total 709 seats of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German Parliament, Merkel won a total of 364 votes, securing an absolute majority, Bundestag Speaker Wolfgang Schauble announced.
The vote came 171 days after the federal elections, the longest time span in post-war Germany.
The Merkel-led Union Party and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) signed a government coalition agreement on Monday. It was also the third "Grand Coalition" and the second consecutive one between the two biggest parties in Germany.
The "Grand Coalition" in the Bundestag has 399 seats, 35 more than the votes Merkel received to become chancellor.
After the election, Merkel met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before returning to the Bundestag to be sworn in. Government ministers will also be sworn in later in the day.