On 17 December, Angela Merkel was confirmed as Chancellor for a third term. The swearing-in came after the Social Democratic Party (SPD) approved the content of the coalition agreement, in what was an unprecedented referendum vote among its members. The SPD won a modest 25.7% of the vote at the federal elections on 22 September, which was far less than the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) and the Christian Social Union’s (CSU) combined 41.5%. Nevertheless, the referendum vote strengthened bargaining position of the center-left SPD in the negotiations so that it was able to ensure that some of the key campaign promises it had made were included in the coalition agreement.
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