Angela Merkel is Sworn in as Chancellor (November 22, 2005)
The close outcome of the 2005 Bundestag elections caused the media to speculate about the formation of new political coalitions. There was talk of both a “traffic light” coalition of the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP (the parties’ traditional colors are red, green, and yellow), and a “Jamaica coalition” of the CDU/CSU, FDP, and Alliance 90/The Greens (black, yellow, and green are the colors of the Jamaican flag). But under chairman Guido Westerwelle, the FDP had made it clear early in the race that it wanted no part of a traffic light coalition; furthermore, there was insurmountable opposition within the CSU to cooperating with the Greens. Since the SPD and Alliance 90/The Greens ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition with the Left Party.PDS, practically the only remaining option was a grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD. Despite the disappointing election results, CDU party chairwoman Angela Merkel was thus able to assert her claim to the chancellorship within her own party and in negotiations with the SPD. On November 22, 2005, she became the first woman and the first East German to be elected chancellor by the German Bundestag. The photo shows Chancellor Angela Merkel being sworn into office by Bundestag President Norbert Lammert in the German Bundestag. Photo: Andrea Bienert.