BERLIN, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The German parliament Tuesday voted in Angela Merkel as the country's new chancellor, the first female and first eastern German to hold the post.
Merkel received 397 of the 611 parliamentary votes in the secret poll, well above the minimum of 308. Her own conservative CDU party, its sister party the CSU, and leftist coalition partner SPD together own 448 votes, Deutsche Welle reported. Despite the fact she failed to garner 51 of the votes available from her own coalition, SPD parliamentary leader Peter Struck called the vote a "good beginning."
Merkel was first offered congratulations from outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and she then went to nearby Charlottenburg Palace where German President Horst Koehler presented her with a certificate of appointment.
The 51-year-old former physicist and her 15-member cabinet were then sworn in.